DENVER (AP) – Former Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff said Tuesday he won’t run for Congress in the 6th District, ending weeks of speculation on whether he would campaign for a seat that’s more favorable to Democrats because of new congressional lines.
Romanoff told The Associated Press he won’t launch a campaign to challenge Democratic state Rep. Joe Miklosi. The seat is held by Republican Rep. Mike Coffman and no Democrat has represented the district since it was created after the 1980 census.
But a new Colorado congressional map drawn by Democrats makes the district nearly evenly split among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters.
That’s prompted calls for Romanoff to enter the race from people who believe he has a better shot than Miklosi to beat Coffman. Romanoff said he’s gotten hundreds of calls and emails from people around Colorado urging him to run.
“For me, it’s not the right time,” Romanoff added.
Political observers and journalists have spent weeks speculating on Twitter whether Romanoff would launch a campaign.
“I guess they’ll find someone else to Tweet about,” Romanoff quipped.
Romanoff lost to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet last year in a primary. He now works at the Colorado-based International Development Enterprises, a nonprofit organization that provides irrigation, water storage and technology to poor, small-scale farmers around the world.
Romanoff is a popular Democrat in Colorado and in the past people have suggested he run for governor. He was a considered a likely candidate to be appointed to the U.S. Senate when Ken Salazar left his seat to be interior secretary. Former Gov. Bill Ritter appointed Bennet.
Coffman’s 6th district in the southern Denver suburbs will change for his re-election bid in 2012 after the Colorado Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling that selected a Democratic-drawn map.
The new map changes Coffman’s district by moving Republican-leaning portions of Douglas County into the Eastern Plains seat now held by Republican Rep. Corey Gardner.
The map also puts the city of Aurora entirely in Coffman’s district, eliminating its current split between the 6th and 7th districts.
Miklosi said he doesn’t anticipate a primary from a fellow Democrat, and he insisted his campaign wasn’t inspired only by the chance of a friendlier district.
“This campaign has never been about the lines. It’s always been about creating jobs for Colorado,” he said.
He also lauded Romanoff, saying, “Andrew has been one of the finest public servants that Colorado has produced.”
By Ivan Moreno, Associated Press
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