Gary Hart to endorse Bennet for president

White House hopeful Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSome realistic solutions for income inequality Democratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd 21 senators urge Pentagon against military use to curb nationwide protests MORE (D-Colo.) announced Friday that he picked up the endorsement of former presidential candidate and Colorado Sen. Gary Hart (D). 

Bennet’s campaign said the endorsement will officially be announced Saturday at the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention.

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Hart, who ran an insurgent bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, unexpectedly won the state’s primary that year, but eventually lost to former Vice President Walter Mondale. 

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“A number of years ago, the voters of New Hampshire provided an opportunity for a young Colorado senator to build a strong national candidacy,” Hart said in a statement to The Associated Press. “They have the chance now to do it again. Michael Bennet has the intelligence, experience, and judgment to put our nation back on track at home and abroad.” 

Hart, now 82 years old, startled the media and political observers in 1984 with his out-of-nowhere presidential bid that began picking up steam ahead of the primary races. 

Hart entered the 1988 cycle as the Democratic front-runner, building off the momentum he’d built four years earlier, until an extramarital affair abruptly ended his campaign.

Bennet, who had hoped to cast himself as an alternative centrist candidate to former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE, has stagnated near the bottom of most national and statewide primary polls. 

“A lesson from Hart is not to count people out and not to presume how New Hampshire will judge candidates,” Bennet spokeswoman Shannon Beckham told the AP. “They like underdogs, and reward candidates with new ideas who are focused on the next generation.”

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