State AG Says He Could Run for Open Senate Seat

Posted March 20, 2007 at 11:00am

State Attorney General John Suthers (R) said he is considering a run for Senate next year, and indicated that the National Republican Senatorial Committee was recruiting him for the race.

“I’ve had conversations with people on several levels,” Suthers told the Daily Sentinel newspaper. “The [NRSC] is obviously very interested in winning this race, making sure that the best possible candidate is in.”

The NRSC declined to comment.

But a source familiar with the committee said talks with Suthers did not progress beyond the obligatory conversation one would expect the committee to have with prospective candidates for an open seat — and with someone who already holds a statewide office.

The last time there was an open Colorado Senate seat, in 2004, then-Attorney General Ken Salazar (D) beat beer magnate Pete Coors (R), and some observers of Centennial State politics have labeled Suthers as a solid Senate candidate, should he decide to run.

Thus far, former Rep. Scott McInnis is the only Republican making a concerted effort to wage a campaign for the seat left open by Sen. Wayne Allard (R), who has announced he will retire at the end of his term. McInnis has nearly $1 million on hand from his old 3rd district campaign account.

Former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R) also is considering a run, as is retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Bentley Rayburn, who finished third in the 2006 GOP primary for the 5th district seat. On the Democratic side, the primary appears cleared for Rep. Mark Udall.

— David M. Drucker