Allard says he won’t run again in 2008, setting up wide-open race
Associated Press Writer
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
DENVER (AP) ” Colorado Republican Sen. Wayne Allard said Monday he will not run for re-election in 2008 but will honor a pledge he made in 1996 to serve only two terms.
“Today, I’m announcing that I will honor my term limits pledge to the people of Colorado,” he said.
The decision sets up a wide-open race. Allard’s seat was once considered safe for the GOP, but Colorado voters have shown a penchant lately for replacing Republicans with Democrats.
Democrats see the race as a chance to pick up another vote in Congress after wresting two House seats and a Senate seat from Republicans the past two years. Republicans hope to stanch a long series of losses, including both houses of the state Legislature and the governor’s office.
Democratic Rep. Mark Udall, a popular five-term congressman and son of former U.S. Rep. Morris Udall of Arizona, has said he will run for the seat whether Allard did or not.
Udall issued a statement saying he was not surprised by Allard’s announcement “because I always assumed he would keep his word on term limits.”
Another Democrat who has been mentioned as a potential candidate is Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.
On the Republican side, former Congressman Scott McInnis is “looking very closely” at running and will decide in the near future, spokeswoman Susan Smith said Monday.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is also studying a possible run for the Senate, spokesman Nate Strauch said Monday.
Former Gov. Bill Owens, who left office last week after term limits prevented him from running again, has said he doesn’t plan to seek the Senate seat.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, a firebrand opponent of illegal immigration, had considered running but is no longer interested and is encouraging McInnis to run, Tancredo spokesman Carlos Espinosa.
Tancredo was considering whether to run for president in 2008 to press for stricter immigration controls, and Espinosa said he would announce his intentions by Tuesday.
Former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway has also been mentioned as a potential Republican candidate.
Allard said he would not choose sides in a primary. He said he announced his plans early to give Republicans time to prepare for the next election.
Allard’s political strength came into question in 2006 when Time magazine ranked him as one of the five worst U.S. senators.
“In a Senate full of ambitious members, Colorado Republican Wayne Allard is so bland that his critics have dubbed him ‘Dullard,”‘ Time said.
The article criticized him for “almost never” playing a major role in legislation despite being a Republican on the powerful Budget and Appropriations committees.
Allard’s chief of staff, Sean Conway, criticized the Time ranking as “more like a popularity poll” and said it was based mostly on opinion.
Allard said he expects his last two years in office to be productive, although his party has fallen into minority status. He said he has already introduced 16 bills this year.
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