Allards Silence on 08 Breeds Speculation
- January 11, 2007
Allard's Silence on `08 Breeds Speculation
By Greg Giroux
Colorado Republican Sen. Wayne Allard says he has decided whether or
not he will seek a third term in 2008 but he isn't ready to share it
"Stay tuned," he told Congressional Quarterly reporter Daphne Retter
Thursday. The senator declined to elaborate further, other than to say
that only he and his wife know what he has decided.
Allard's musings, though circumspect, will only heighten anticipation
in Colorado and in the suites of national party strategists as they
prepare for the 2008 campaign for control of the Senate.
Among those watching with the greatest interest is five-term 2nd
District Rep. Mark Udall, who established even before his 2006 House
campaign that he planned to run for the Senate in 2008.
The possibility that Allard might not run again has long been the
subject of speculation. The winner of a 5 percentage-point victory
over Democrat Tom Strickland in 2002, Allard is a supporter of term
limits and had promised to serve no more than two six-year terms a
pledge Democrats are demanding that he keep.
The senator also does not have a bulging treasury. As of Nov. 27,
Allard had just $122,000 cash on hand in his Senate campaign account.
Allard is the product of a period of Republican dominance in Colorado
that has waned of late.
Though President Bush carried the state over Democratic challenger
John Kerry by 5 points in 2004 the GOP's ninth victory in the past
10 state presidential votes the Democrats made major gains elsewhere
that year. Ken Salazar won an open Republican Senate seat; his
brother, John Salazar, won an open Republican House seat; and the
Democrats took control of both state legislative chambers.
The Democrats compounded those advances in 2006, when Bill Ritter won
to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Owens; Democrat Ed
Perlmutter won another open Republican House seat, giving his party a
4-3 edge in the state's delegation; and the party increased its
majorities in the state House and Senate.
New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, chairman of the Democratic
Senatorial Campaign Committee, has identified the Colorado seat as one
of his party's top targets in its quest to defend and possibly expand
its new 51-49 majority.
The party's nominee will have an especially gaudy showcase: The
Democratic National Committee announced Thursday that it would hold
its 2008 presidential convention in Denver.
And Udall, who in his recent House races has won landslides in a
Democratic-leaning district that includes Boulder and some suburbs
northwest of Denver, gives the party what appears a strong takeover
In 2004, Udall briefly sought the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Ben
Nighthorse Campbell. He withdrew in deference to Ken Salazar, then the
state's attorney general, who went on to defeat Republican brewing
company executive Pete Coors.
Unlike Allard, Udall has been piling up campaign funds with 2008 in
mind. As of Nov. 27, Udall had $1.3 million cash on hand in his House
campaign account; all of that money could be transferred to a Senate
Potential Republican candidates, should Allard decide to retire,
include one current and two former House members.
The active incumbent is Tom Tancredo, who was elected to his fifth
term last November in the conservative-leaning 6th District outside of
Denver. One of the nation's most vocal opponents of illegal
immigration, Tancredo is mulling a candidacy for the 2008 Republican
One of the ex-members on the Senate race prospect list is Rep. Scott
McInnis, who represented the western 3rd District from 1993 to 2005
and who has $939,000 remaining in a campaign fund that could be
transferred to a new Senate campaign account. The other is former Rep.
Bob Schaffer, who represented the eastern 4th District from 1997-2003
and who lost the 2004 GOP Senate primary to Coors.
© 2006 Congressional Quarterly