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Allard: No third term

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_5281105,00.html Allard: No third term By M.E. Sprengelmeyer, Rocky Mountain News January 15,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 16, 2007
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      Allard: No third term

      By M.E. Sprengelmeyer, Rocky Mountain News
      January 15, 2007
      WASHINGTON — 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

      "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.

      Appearing with his wife, Joan, at a press conference
      at the state Capitol, Allard said, "The people of
      Colorado placed their trust in me based on a promise I
      made to them and I am honoring that promise. In an age
      when promises are cast away as quickly as yesterday’s
      newspaper, I believe a promise made should be a
      promise kept."

      Allard, 63, faced friendly pressure from fellow
      Republicans who wanted him to run again. That’s
      because open-seat contests can be vastly more
      difficult — and costly — for a party to defend.

      But he also was tugged by the promise he made in 1996
      to serve no more than two U.S. Senate terms.

      The term limits pledge was a relic of the so-called
      "Republican Revolution" of the 1994 election, when the
      GOP swept to power promising to change the ways of

      As time passed, some one-time leaders of the movement,
      including Rep. Tom Tancredo, and others who signed
      pledges, such as former Rep. Scott McInnis, abandoned
      their promises in the name of continuing public
      service. Others, such as former Rep. Bob Schaffer,
      lived up to their pledge and went home.

      In October 2002, when Allard’s re-match against
      Democrat Tom Strickland still was in doubt, it was
      suggested that the senator was hedging on his
      term-limits pledge.

      "I’m term-limited," Allard said in reaction. "That has
      always been my position. I’ve always said I believe in
      limiting my term. I’ve stipulated in past campaigns
      that I believe in term limits, and I’ve never wavered
      on it."

      He went on to beat Strickland, just as he had in 1996.
      But in later years, Allard avoided making definitive
      statements about the term limits pledge, especially
      after Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s abrupt retirement
      led to a Republican seat falling into the hands of
      Democrat Ken Salazar.

      "Whoever runs, whether it’s me or some (other
      Republican) candidate who will be running, we’ll be
      facing a tough race in Colorado," Allard said
      recently. "I’ve always faced tough races before. ...
      I’m used to being an underdog."

      There’s a long list of potential candidates for
      Allard’s seat, including Rep. Mark Udall, D-Eldorado
      Springs, and various Republicans, such as outgoing
      Gov. Bill Owens, Tancredo, McInnis and Schaffer.

      Even before Allard’s decision, the Cook Political
      Report and the Washington Post political blog had
      called Colorado’s 2008 Senate contest one of the top
      races to watch.

      An anticipated retirement by Allard was one reason,
      but analysts also point to Democratic gains in
      Colorado and other Western states.

      The 2008 contest will happen in a presidential
      election year, and some Democrats are urging their
      party to pick a presidential nominee who reflects
      Western values. If so, that could give the party’s
      Senate candidate some coat-tails to ride.

      Allard has been more folksy than flashy during his 24
      years in elective office, starting with eight years in
      the state Senate, six years in the U.S. House of
      Representatives and so far 10 years in the U.S.

      "Senator Allard’s great political strength was that
      Coloradans could look at him and say, ‘He is like me.
      He works hard every day.’

      And I think there’s a commonality between Coloradans
      and Sen. Allard that we haven’t seen many times in
      elected officials," said Republican consultant Dick
      Wadhams, who managed Allard’s Senate campaigns in 1996
      and 2002.

      Allard has been a champion of fiscal discipline and
      traditional social values. That included two
      unsuccessful bids to pass a proposed constitutional
      amendment banning same-sex marriage.

      In recent years, Allard often cast predictable,
      party-line votes with fellow Republicans, and he was
      known as one of the more reliable allies of President
      Bush’s White House.

      Allies liked to say Allard has been a "work horse"
      rather than a "show horse" in Congress. Still, Time
      magazine in 2005 dubbed him "The Invisible Man" and
      one of the five "worst" U.S. Senators.

      Longtime Allard chief of staff Sean Conway dismissed
      the ranking as "laughable," citing the senator’s
      accomplishments, including cutting years off the
      schedule for cleaning the former nuclear weapons plant
      at Rocky Flats; defending the state’s military
      installations from base closings and spearheading the
      investigation into sexual assaults at the U.S. Air
      Force Academy.

      Allard was the only one from the nine-member state
      delegation to sit on an Appropriations Committee, a
      strategic place for securing federal funds for the
      state. First-term Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Denver, already
      has expressed an interest in an appropriations seat,
      although the positions are hard to come by.

      But Allard might be remembered just as much for his
      down-home appeal and affable manner than his
      legislative record.
      Allard played up his roots as a veterinarian and small
      businessman. He bragged about being a member of the
      two-person Senate Veterinarian Caucus, and he
      sometimes examined colleagues dogs in his Senate

      Meanwhile, he lightened up his policy speeches by
      lacing them with yarns about his experience running
      the Allard Animal Hospital back in Colorado.

      For example, his appeal for reforming the nation's
      health care systems included his story about being
      stuck with a high out-of-pocket expense for surgery
      after he hurt his back lifting Great Danes and other
      heavy dogs onto his examination table.
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