Senate Republicans are weeping today.
Sen. Wayne Allard said today he will honor his term-limits pledge and leave at the end of 2008, creating a replacement fight that should turn Colorado into one of the country’s biggest electoral battlegrounds.
"I just didn't think I could back away from the (term limits) commitment. It is a matter of integrity and keeping your commitments. I have never wavered on that," Allard told the Rocky Mountain News.
Colorado was already the Democrats' top pickup opportunity, with Allard winning his two terms with razor-thin margins and a Blue wave sweeping the Rocky Mountain state.
Rep. Mark Udall, who represents the CO-02 district, announced his candidacy back in 2005 when he bowed out of the governor's race. The popular scion of the long-serving political family should have a clear shot through the primaries.
On the Republican side, former Gov. Bill Owens has said he won't run. Tancredo is running for president, though could pivot and shoot for the open Senate seat. That wouldn't just create a competitive open seat race in CO-06, but would also exacerbate fierce divisions in the state's GOP on immigration. Bigoted Rep. Marylin Musgrave barely survived her own race in 2006, and will be hard-pressed to stay in Congress, much less get a promotion in the Senate.
Former Rep. Scott McInnis has expressed interest in an open seat race, and would be no slouch. But remember, the rising star of the Colorado GOP, the guy they pinned their future on, was Rep. Bob Beauprez. And here's what happened to his gubernatorial bid this past November:
Ritter (D) 56%
That demonstrates better than anything else the dismal state of the Colorado Republican Party.
This will be a Democratic pickup in 2008.
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