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John Elway for governor -- a Hail Mary for the Republicans

"Is there anything we can do to win the governor's race?" asked registered Republican Jon Caldara, moaning and grabbing what would be his hair, during yesterday's taping of Devil's Advocate (the show airs tomorrow on Channel 12). Well, yes, I told him: You can convince John Elway, the state's biggest celebrity, and most famous Republican, to throw a Hail Mary pass, convince Dan Maes to pull out of the race and then take his place. Number 7 for governor: Score!

Although Maes has shown no signs that he'll get out of the race -- despite the open dismissiveness of GOP boss Dick Wadhams after his surprise win over ultimate insider Scott McInnis -- grown men (and women) have done amazing things to get a nod, a moment, an autograph from Elway.

And Elway, whose name has been floated as a potential candidate before, has the major attribute Wadhams and other GOP leaders would be looking for in a replacement candidate: money. Plus, unlike Dave Liniger, whose name has been floated, he has another attribute that would likely convince Tom Tancredo to get out of the race: popularity. Elway is still so popular in this state that he could give John Hickenlooper a run for his money.

Even if he makes Jon Caldara his running mate.

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