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Andrew Romanoff says time isn't right to take on Mike Coffman in race for Congress

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Andrew Romanoff returns his calls, but it may take him a while. We dialed the ex-Colorado House speaker and Senate candidate for our November 22 interview with Democrat Joe Miklosi, who's taking on Mike Coffman in the 6th Congressional District, about rumors that he was being urged to throw his hat into the ring, too. Today, he phoned back to say he's decided against doing so.

"A lot of people have encouraged me to run," he concedes. "I probably got a couple of hundred calls and e-mails from folks, people I respect, starting last summer. And the calls really stepped up after the maps came out" -- a reference to new boundary lines that appear to make the traditionally safe Republican district much more competitive than in the past. "But I didn't end up anywhere different than where I started."

Why not? Was it because taking on Coffman, a well-entrenched incumbent, during a year when Democrats can expect to be under steady fire over the economy, will be a challenge despite the changes? "No, I'm accustomed to tough fights," he replies. "It was really a matter of personal timing."

That's due in part to his current gig with International Development Enterprises, a nonprofit based in Golden that Romanoff describes as "helping small-scale farmers increase their income and crawl out of poverty all over the world. We do work in Asia, Latin America, and I've gone to Africa a couple of times in the past year" -- experiences he's shared in blog posts on his AndrewRomanoff.com website.

Nonetheless, Romanoff, who's thrown his support behind Miklosi in the 6th, makes it clear that he hasn't retired from politics. "I love public service, and I loved my job at the State House," he says. "I hope I'll have another chance to serve in some public capacity. But just not right now."

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More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Andrew Romanoff's latest fundraising request is a winner."

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