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effort to woo moderate congressional incumbent fails

effort to woo moderate congressional incumbent fails

Retiring U.S. representative Joel Hefley, a Colorado Republican, has decided against running as a write-in candidate in November, despite pressure from some Republicans who feel the party's nominee to replace him is too conservative, his spokeswoman said Tuesday. "Some discussions" took place about the 10-term congressman running again, spokeswoman Jenny Walberg said. She declined to give specifics or identify who was asking Hefley to run.

State senator Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs won a fiercely fought six-way primary on August 8 that Colorado College political scientist Bob Loevy described as a "race to the Right." During the campaign, Lamborn, a 52-year-old attorney, said, "I think maybe there are some candidates who are trying to present themselves as conservative as me, but I don't know if they'll be successful."

At one point the GOP candidates accused each other of dirty campaign tactics. A mailer from the Christian Coalition of Colorado sent in support of Lamborn accused opponent Jeff Crank of "public support for members and efforts of the homosexual agenda." Lamborn's campaign manager, John Hotaling, denied that Lamborn's campaign had anything to do with the mailing. However, Hotaling is the former director of the Christian Coalition of Colorado, and his brother is the current director.

The district is one of the state's most conservative and is considered a safe seat for Republicans. Democrats nominated Air Force veteran Jay Fawcett.

The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported Tuesday that Hefley was being heavily lobbied to run as a write-in out of concern about how Lamborn ran his primary campaign.

Hefley, 71, "thinks it's better for the party not to run," Walberg said. She said he was adamant when she spoke to him Tuesday. "He said, 'No, no,' " she said. "He is of course flattered by the support."

Hefley was at a funeral and could not be reached immediately. (AP, Jennifer Talhelm)

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