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DENVER — Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman on Wednesday announced her candidacy in the crowded race to replace Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“Colorado faces serious challenges as a growing state, and needs a strong, principled leader who understands the diverse nature of our rural communities and the increasing tensions of urban living,” Coffman said in a statement announcing her candidacy.

Coffman joins a crowded Republican field that includes 18th Judicial District Attorney and Aurora theater shooting prosecutor George Brauchler; State Treasurer Walker Stapleton; former Congressman Tom Tancredo; investment banker Doug Robinson; and businessman and former state lawmaker Victor Mitchell.

“As attorney general, I have come to appreciate that our most precious resource is in the strength and character of our people,” Coffman said.

“Colorado’s future success will be defined by our collective drive and determination to preserve what we most value about our state while embracing and capitalizing on our popularity, growth, and prosperity.”

In June, Coffman announced she was splitting from her husband, Rep. Mike Coffman, who is seeking re-election in the 6th Congressional District.