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Colorado Senate: Allard to Retire

Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) announced today he will not seek a third term in the Senate, setting up a high-profile race to replace him next year.

Allard, who had pledged to serve just two terms in the Senate, said that oath was the major reason for his decision. "I've kept all my campaign commitments, except for one, and now I've completed that one, and that is my term-limit pledge," he told a local television news station

Rep. Mark Udall (D) has been preparing a run for Allard's Senate seat better part of the last two years and will likely have the Democratic field to himself. He ended the year with $1.3 million on hand.

The Republican side is much less clear. Former Gov. Bill Owens, who left office earlier this month after two terms, would likely be the GOP's first choice, but he has been circumspect about the race. He was courted to run for the Senate seat vacated by Ben Nighthorse Campbell in 2004 but took a pass.

Former Rep. Scott McInnis has said he would run if Allard and Owens did not. Former Reps. Bob Beauprez, the party's nominee for governor in 2006, and Bob Schaffer, who ran for Senate in 2004, are mentioned, as are Rep. Tom Tancredo, who may run for president, and state Attorney General John Suthers.

Colorado was already shaping up to host one of the most competitive Senate races in the country next year, even if Allard has decided to run. Democrats have gained two House seat, a Senate seat and the governor's mansion over the last two election cycles. It is now Democrats' premier pickup opportunity, and the Democratic candidate will almost certainly benefit from Denver's selection to host the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

Check the Politics section tomorrow for more on the Allard decision.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 15, 2007; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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