Giving a boost to Democratic hopes of ousting Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R) in the 4th district, former state Rep. Angie Paccione, the 2006 Democratic nominee, dropped out of the race Wednesday.
Paccione said in a brief telephone interview that she changed her mind about running in 2008 to pursue a private-sector opportunity that she described as too good to pass up.
Her exit should help Democratic establishment favorite Betsy Markey consolidate her support and possibly avoid a contentious primary. Eric Eidsness, a former Republican who garnered 11 percent of the vote last year running on the Reform Party line, is still in the Democratic race.
Markey, a former aide to Sen. Ken Salazar (D), was scheduled to be in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to raise money for her campaign.
Paccione lost to Musgrave last year by a narrow 2.5 points and with the help of Eidsness held the incumbent Republican to 45.6 percent of the vote.
Paccione said she has no plans to endorse either of the two Democrats who remain in the 2008 race.
— David M. Drucker