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Allard’s Silence on ‘08 Breeds Speculation

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  • Ram Lau
    January 11, 2007 Allard s Silence on `08 Breeds Speculation By Greg Giroux http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2007/01/11/cq_2110.html Colorado Republican Sen. Wayne
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 12, 2007
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      January 11, 2007
      Allard's Silence on `08 Breeds Speculation
      By Greg Giroux
      http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2007/01/11/cq_2110.html

      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
      just yet.

      "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
      prospect.

      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
      campaign account.

      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
      presidential nomination.

      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
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