Republican Waller ends bid for attorney general

DENVER — Rep. Mark Waller dropped out of the race Monday for the GOP nomination for Colorado attorney general.

The Colorado Springs Republican barely eked out the necessary 30 percent needed to make the ballot at the GOP state assembly in Boulder earlier this month.

Since that poor showing, he’s been considering leaving the race.

His departure leaves Republican Cynthia Coffman to face Democrat Don Quick for the job.

“After much thought and prayer, (wife) Jennifer and I believe the best decision moving forward is to step aside and clear the way for Cynthia Coffman. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to promote the need for a constitutional conservative to serve as our next attorney general,” Waller said in a statement. “I am now confident that Cynthia, as the last line of defense against an overreaching federal government, is committed to promoting our conservative values and protecting our western way of life.”

Waller’s departure clears the way for Coffman to run against Quick. Both have experience in the attorney general’s office.

Coffman, the wife of U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, has worked as Attorney General John Suthers’ chief deputy his entire 10 years in that office.

Quick held the same job when former Interior Secretary and Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar was attorney general from 1999 to 2005. He went on to become district attorney for Adams and Broomfield counties, a job held until 2013 when he was term-limited.

Now, Coffman won’t have to spend money on a June 24 primary, which could be a crucial factor in the November elections.

The last campaign finance reports filed in January showed Quick out-fundraising Coffman,  with more than $194,000 compared with her $145,000.

Waller, meanwhile, only raised about $76,000.


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