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Publish Date: 9/9/2006

VanWie out of race for state post


DENVER — Rick VanWie, the Green Party candidate for secretary of state, has dropped his bid for that office and is encouraging Coloradans to elect Democrat Ken Gordon to the post.

VanWie’s formal withdrawal, received by the secretary of state’s office Friday, narrows the field to Gordon and Republican Mike Coffman.

VanWie, a Denver paralegal, said in a Friday interview that earlier this week, when he participated in the taping of a TV appearance with Coffman and Gordon, he concluded that Gordon “is the candidate with the best chance of winning who most represents what I stood for in my campaign.”

Gordon said Friday that “I think Rick listened to Mike and me both speak, and he heard me talking about our message, which is greater citizen participation, reducing special-interest influence and having clean campaigns. I believe that resonated with him and he didn’t want to take the chance that he would contribute to my loss,” said Gordon, who is the Legislature’s Senate majority leader.

Coffman, who’s wrapping up his second term as state treasurer, said he was not surprised at VanWie’s endorsement of Gordon.

“I think that their positions were fairly similar” on voting and election issues during Tuesday’s TV forum taping, Coffman said.

“I think certainly Ken is a very liberal candidate,” Coffman said, and “the Green Party generally represents positions left of the Democrat Party.

“It makes sense that the two of them would marry up,” Coffman said of Gordon and VanWie, adding that he did not consider them to be in the political “mainstream” and that Gordon is “a liberal out of touch with the mainstream of his own party.”

VanWie, however, said: “I come from a conservative family.”

He said he’s encouraging liberals, conservatives and others “to look beyond their party and to vote for the candidate who will give you the best democracy that you deserve.”

Dana Williams, spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office, said VanWie withdrew his candidacy in time to have his name removed from the general-election ballot, which she said Secretary of State Gigi Dennis must certify Monday.

John Fryar can be reached by e-mail at jfryar@times-call.com.

 
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