As Politico predicted this week, conservative South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint has stepped up with an important endorsement for Ken Buck, whose opponent, former Colorado Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, has been crowned the GOP’s frontrunner in the race for U.S. Senate.

DeMint compares Buck, a “Tea Party-powered” candidate, to an insurgent GOP campaign: “I haven’t seen anything like what’s happening in Colorado since Marco Rubio in Florida” (via Politico).

Norton (left) recently announced she would attempt to petition onto the Republican primary ballot in August—a “surprising move,” writes the Grand Junction Sentinel, not because Buck has been doing better in the local assemblies, but because she wants to focus on campaigning against Democratic Senator Michael Bennet.

Norton’s effort to gather signatures essentially gives Buck “a clear field to win top line” at the Colorado Republican Convention next month in Loveland, writes The Pueblo Chieftain.

Meanwhile, the Dems’ own insurgent, former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, was in Colorado Springs yesterday listening to local business concerns about the U.S. trade imbalance with China.

“The Republicans weren’t listening,” Tom Neppl, who has hosted former presidential candidate and current Arizona Senator John McCain at his fabrication plant, tells the Gazette.