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Ebola becomes issue in Colorado Senate race

October 13, 2014

DENVER (AP) — The Ebola outbreak is becoming an issue in Colorado’s neck-and-neck Senate race.

Last week, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall accused his Republican challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, of voting to cut $300 million from the Centers for Disease Control, the agency in charge of containing any Ebola in the United States. On Monday, Gardner’s campaign noted that Udall had also voted to cut the CDC’s budget as part of a 2011 budget deal that Gardner himself had also supported.

Udall’s campaign responded that Gardner had supported far deeper CDC cuts. Gardner voted for $755 million in CDC cuts as part of a 2011 Republican budget in the House of Representatives that did not pass the senate, including a $269 million reduction in emergency response. That, Udall spokesman Chris Harris said, was the cut that Udall had referenced in last week’s debate.

Still, the Gardner campaign noted that the Democrat had also signed onto the across-the-board spending cuts that reduced the CDC budget by $289 million. “Sen. Udall’s attack is hypocritical,” Gardner spokesman Matt Connelly said.

The back and forth comes as both political parties are testing out whether the Ebola outbreak can be politically useful in the election’s final days.

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