DENVER — Republican Scott McInnis said Wednesday he will not run for the U.S. Senate next year, removing one of the highest-profile GOP names from what is sure to be a hotly contested race.
The former congressman had considered running after Republican Sen. Wayne Allard said he would not seek a third term.
But McInnis said he decided against seeking the office after considering what was best for Colorado and for his family.
“I will remain actively involved, just not on the ballot,” he said in a written release.
The announcement came less than a month after he announced he had formed an exploratory committee for a possible Senate campaign.
McInnis represented the sprawling 3rd Congressional District in the western and southern parts of the state from 1993 to 2005. He has about 900,000 left over from his congressional campaign fund, which could have been used in his bid to replace Allard.
Some analysts have said the 2008 race could cost 20 million, which would make it the most expensive in state history. Because it will be an open seat and control of the Senate appears up for grab, the race is expected to be fierce.
Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., has said he plans to run, though he has not formally declared. Besides McInnis, Republicans mentioned for a possible bid include former gubernatorial candidate and congressman Bob Beauprez and state Attorney General John Suthers.
Another potential GOP heavyweight, former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, said in January that he would not run.