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Obama raises money for absent Colo. senator

WASHINGTON — In a tough race for reelection, Senator Mark Udall chose the benefit of President Obama’s fund-raising prowess Wednesday over the pleasure of his company.

The Colorado Democrat could have had both.

But he opted to work in Washington while the president, whose poll ratings hover around 40 percent in Colorado, headlined a fund-raiser on his behalf in Denver.

Udall ‘‘is not an ideologue. Doesn’t agree with me on everything. But he believes in the core idea that should be what Democrats are all about: the idea that if you work hard, you should be able to make it,’’ Obama told his audience.


The beneficiary of the event devoted his day to official duties in Washington that dovetailed with home-state politics and his campaign. ‘‘It wasn’t a political decision,’’ said campaign spokesman Chris Harris, an assertion that Republicans pointedly disputed as events produced a political back-and-forth so vigorous that it would be more typical of a day late in the campaign rather than one in early July.

Udall ‘‘has supported the Obama agenda an eye-popping 99 percent of the time,’’ said the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which backs Representative Cory Gardner in the race.

Udall participated in a news conference unveiling legislation to counter a recent Supreme Court ruling that restricted access to contraceptives under the nation’s health care law.

Representing a state where the population is 20 percent Hispanic, he voted to confirm Julian Castro as the new secretary of housing and urban development.