DENVER — State Rep. Mark Waller announced Monday afternoon that he is ending his campaign for attorney general and asked his fellow Republicans to unify behind Cynthia Coffman, FOX31 Denver was first to report.
Honestly, Waller’s decision came about because Republicans already had unified behind Coffman, Colorado’s deputy attorney general, who won support from nearly 70 percent of the delegates at the GOP state assembly earlier this month.
After Waller barely made the primary ballot earning just over 30 percent at the assembly, the writing was on the wall.
“After much thought and prayer, 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,” said Waller in a statement emailed out Monday afternoon.
“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.”
What role Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call played in urging Waller to bow out and help the party avoid another primary battle is a matter of ongoing speculation.
Call did issue a statement praising Waller Monday afternoon shortly after the announcement.
I thank Mark for running a spirited and positive campaign, and for his work to unite our Party behind Cynthia Coffman,” Call said. “While Mark is not seeking elected office this year, I have no doubt that he will continue doing great things for our Party, our state and our nation.”
Coffman’s campaign also issued a statement later Monday afternoon.
“I received a very heartening message from Mark Waller earlier today that he is throwing his full support behind my candidacy for Attorney General,” Coffman said.
“It is not only a selfless act on behalf of the party, but for all of us who believe there’s no greater cause than protecting the lives, freedoms and constitutional rights of the people of Colorado. After nearly ten years fighting for this state on the front lines of justice, I’ve seen just how important these principles are in safeguarding our special way of life.”
Republicans, coming off a number of election cycles where its general election candidates were damaged by bruising primary fights, have managed to avoid primaries this year in every race but the gubernatorial contest, where four candidates will appear on the June primary ballot.
Congressman Cory Gardner’s late entrance into the U.S. Senate race managed to clear the field of nearly all of his potential primary rivals, the last of whom were knocked out when Gardner took over 30 percent support at the assembly.