Dan Maes Facing Mounting Pressure To Drop Out Of Gov. Race [UPDATED]
UPDATE (12:39): Dan Maes is indicating that he will stay in the Colorado Governor's Race despite two influential GOP leaders dropping their support after allegations that he embellished his record as a Kansas police officer.
"I am not getting out of the race, and that's all I have to say at this time," Maes told the Denver Post.
Arriving for a debate Thursday afternoon, Maes told reporters "I'm not going anywhere...people are tired of these power-brokers."
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UPDATE: Former State Senate President and influential Colorado Republican John Andrews has withdrawn his endorsement of of Dan Maes for Governor of Colorado for "the public good."
Andrews said on Wednesday that he still supported Maes, but changed his mind after meeting with the candidate this morning.
Andrews says he will write in a vote for Jane Norton.
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Reports are circulating Thursday that Republican power brokers will replace the party's gubernatorial nominee, Dan Maes, within the next few days.
The GOP's efforts to replace Maes follow a report in Wednesday's Denver Post indicating that the candidate greatly embellished accounts of his tenure as a policeman in Kansas.
The story is the latest in a series of distractions that have dogged the rookie candidate since before he captured the Republican nomination in August.
Earlier this summer, Maes was fined by the Colorado Secretary of State for improper use of campaign funds.
Shortly after beating out Scott McInnis (who was also plagued by ethical questions) for the Republican nomination, more questions arose about Maes's fundraising practices when a longtime GOP activist accused him of using a $300 dollar loan for campaign purposes.
Maes has had trouble racing enough money to compete with Democrat John Hickenlooper.
GOP insiders have continued to publicly support Maes, even as they tried to negotiate a deal with him that would take third party candidate Tom Tancredo off the ballot.
Tancredo effectively eliminated any chance of a Republican win this November when entered the race before the primary as a way of forcing Maes and McInnis off the ballot. He has said he will drop out of the race if Maes does the same. Doing so, it is widely believed, would give Republicans a chance to compete with Hickenlooper in November.
Revelations about Maes's misstatements regarding his work with the Liberty, Kansas police department appear to be the last straw for Republican insiders.
Even the right-wing grassroots organizations that are largely responsible for Maes's primary victory have expressed reservations about his candidacy.
KDVR, meanwhile, reported late Wednesday that Maes had flown to DC to meet with the Republican Governor's Association. (RGA)
Although neither Maes nor the RGA has revealed the details of the conversations that took place in Washington, speculation is that the organization is either considering throwing its support to Maes, or making an effort to take him off the ballot.
The Colorado Statesman reported late Wednesday night the movement to replace Maes is picking up steam among the state's Republican insiders. According to The Statesman, there may be a new Republican candidate on the ballot by Tuesday.
The party, however, still has no grounds to force Maes off the ballot, and would need him to voluntarily drop his campaign in order to replace him.
The Statesman named Beauprez and Jane Norton, who recently lost her bid to become the Republican nominee for Senate, as potential replacements.
Meanwhile, Maes's wife, Karen, has said that she will "not allow" her husband to drop out of the race.