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DeGette withdraws name from Senate consideration

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Diana DeGette has told Governor Bill Ritter that she's not interested in replacing Ken Salazar in the U.S. Senate.

"After serious deliberation and consultation with my family, supporters and colleagues in Congress," she announced today, "I have concluded I can best serve the citizens of the First Congressional District and Colorado from my current leadership positions in the House of Representatives. As a Chief Deputy Whip and Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I will play a significant role in formulating critical legislation -- including measures addressing health-care reform, global climate change, energy policy and public lands -- in the 111th Congress. Moreover, I can be more effective in ensuring that the upcoming stimulus package and highway bill benefit our state in my capacity as the most senior member of the Colorado Congressional delegation than as the most junior Senator."

That reasoning argument sounds very much like what Diana DeGette offered two weeks ago, at a community meeting in her office, before she made a public play for the Senate seat, complete with a shot at the "chattering class" that didn't take her candidacy seriously.

But apparently she concluded that her initial thoughts were correct: She can do more for Colorado from her current slot.

"I want to thank the many people who contacted me and my staff to share their views about the course I should take," DeGette continued. "I value all of their thoughts and am gratified to receive their support. Governor Ritter has a talented pool of leaders from which he will select Senator Salazar's successor. I look forward to serving with our new Senator and the rest of the Colorado delegation to ensure a bright future for this state and this great country."

Whoever that new senator might be, and no matter what the chattering class says. -- Patricia Calhoun

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