Kicking off his re-election bid, Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., began a six-day, 20-city tour of Colorado Monday, emphasizing homeland security, restoring economic prosperity and protecting social security and Medicare.

Allard also said education and Coloradans' quality of life play big in his priorities if he gets a second term in Washington.

Allard's Sunday announcement that he will run for re-election sets the stage for a possible rematch with the Democrat he defeated in 1996.

Allard narrowly defeated former U.S. Attorney Tom Strickland, who announced last August that he will take another shot at the seat. Neither candidate is expected to have opposition in the primary.

Allard, 58, a veterinarian, will borrow the expertise of Dick Wadhams, Gov. Bill Owens' press secretary.  Wadhams, who was Allard's campaign manager in 1996, was credited with deafating Strickland by characterizing him as a slick lawyer who made millions representing well-heeled powerbrokers.

Strickland said in August he wouldn't allow Allard's campaign to define him again. He has also pitched himself as the more environmentally conscious candidate.

In the past, the League of Conservation Voters has given Allard a score of 0 percent in voting for environmental issues.

Allard said Sunday he isn't concerned about the opinions of "some extreme national environmental groups."

"I haven't been reaching out to environmentalists in Washington, D.C. I've been reaching out to environmentalists in Colorado," he said. "I'll hold up my environmental record to anyone."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.