Congressman Cory Gardner has quickly risen in the ranks in his short time in Congress and now two prominent DC publications are taking notice. Last week, Politico dubbed Gardner one of five "Politico Pro Players" in its annual 50 Politicos to Watch list. Then today, Roll Call named Gardner one of five stand out freshmen members.

From Politico's write up:

Freshman Rep. Cory Gardner has been pushed to the forefront of the House GOP effort to keep the Environmental Protection Agency in check and expand domestic energy production.  

But the Colorado Republican is angling himself as part of a future strategy that may have to bend more toward compromise after much divisive debate this Congress.  

“This is sort of the frustration I have with Republicans; it’s a frustration I have with Democrats,” he told POLITICO in a June 26 interview. “It seems to me that if you have a bill out of the House, the only thing it can be on is traditional energy. If you have a bill out of the Senate, the only thing it can be on is renewable energy.”  

…Gardner is in a safe Republican district in what is overall a presidential swing state. His free-market approach to a diverse set of energy sources is pretty much in line with those of many GOP colleagues.  

“I think the EPA, Interior, they’ve hurt a lot of Western producers in the amount of time it’s taken some permits [to move] through the various agencies,” he said.

We at the Peak know a little something about this list, as we were selected as one of five bloggers to watch last year, though our anonymity ultimately kept us from winning. 

If Gardner has been anything in DC, it's certainly not anonymous. Roll Call also notices:

A top staffer to former Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) before being elected to the Colorado state House, Gardner said his time on Capitol Hill gave him an understanding of what people demand of their leaders, namely competence.  

“There are a lot of the same kinds of issues now that we were dealing with in 2002,” he said, naming Allard’s work on a highway bill and a farm bill that year. “What helped was to see what worked and what didn’t work.”  

It also made him a known commodity and a favorite of leaders, especially on energy messaging.

Gardner's district is now considered one of the safest, if not the safest, GOP seat in Colorado. With a stellar record like this from only his first 18 months, it's no wonder Democrats decided to throw his opponent, Brandon Shaffer, under the bus during redistricting.