Former state representative Angie Paccione announced this morning that she is withdrawing her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in Colorado’s fourth congressional district.
Paccione, who narrowly lost in her first bid against incumbent Rep. Marilyn Musgrave in 2006, was considered an early favorite in the rematch by some Democratic activists while others continued to woo other candidates they perceived as carrying less political baggage. Sen. Brandon Schaffer (D-Longmont) and Bent County Commissioner Bill Long dabbled with the idea of running but ultimately decided against a run which would require raising a minimum of $2 million in a district heavily weighted with Republican voters.
Betsy Markey, a Fort Collins businesswoman and former aide to Sen. Ken Salazar, announced her bid last Spring and has been busy assembling a fundraising and communications team after a lackluster start just weeks before the June 30 campaign finance reporting period deadline.
Former Republican turned Democrat Eric Eidsness has also expressed interest in a re-match. He ran in 2006 against both Musgrave and Paccione as a Reform Party candidate garnering 11 percent of the vote.
Within moments of Paccione’s public resignation, Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-Denver) sent a clear message to state Democrats to close ranks in favor of Markey:
“As the Dean of the Colorado Delegation, I want to thank Angie Paccione for her dedicated service to our state. She has been a highly-qualified candidate who would have made an excellent representative for the people of the fourth Congressional District, as well as Colorado.
“I am confident that Betsey Markey will be a formidable candidate and will prevail in securing another Democratic House seat for Colorado. She is well-qualified and experienced in the issues facing our state. I look forward to working with her as part of the Colorado
Paccione’s campaign released the following statement:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Angie Paccione Announces She is No Longer a Candidate for Congress
New Leadership Post Leads to International Opportunity
Statement by Angie Paccione – September 26, 2007 11:00 AM MDT
There are no words adequate enough to describe the privilege I’ve had representing the people of Fort Collins as their State Representative and as the Democratic candidate for the people of the 4th Congressional District. In 2000, when there was no democratic candidate on the ballot for the 4th CD, I was motivated to enter politics to fill the void in leadership. At that time I offered my service as the voice of the people in representative government. I am forever changed, forever grateful, and forever indebted to the people for the opportunity they gave me to serve them.
I have a passion to serve people by doing whatever I can to unleash their greatness. This is what has always compelled me. I used my skills as an athlete to serve our country in international competition, I used my academic talent to serve our youth as an educator, and I used my political position to serve the people I represented by giving them hope, making the system work for them, and empowering them to participate in politics as well.
Since September of 2005 I have been on a mission to win the 4th Congressional district because I believe and many others do as well, that I would be a better, more effective representative for the people of this district. As an elected official I have always focused on what’s right, not on who’s right. That has allowed me to reach across political divides and partisan politics to get things done for the people of our great state. I am proud of the work I was able to do…as a lead sponsor of legislation and as a co-sponsor. I have always been accessible to my constituents, I have always been responsive to their concerns, and I have always worked with members of both political parties.
Last night I had the privilege of speaking to hundreds of high school students and their parents. I told them what I have been telling young people for nearly three decades… to have the courage to say “yes” to opportunity. Today I am here to do the very thing I encourage others to do…to say yes to an amazing opportunity that has presented itself to me. Since January, I have been working with Pathways to Leadership Inc., a company that gives businesses a competitive advantage over others by helping them unleash the greatness in their employees, teams, and organization. This is a company that changes the results people and organizations deliver – because it changes the lives of the people in the organization.
I thought that I might be able to work with Pathways to Leadership and campaign for Congress at the same time. However, the opportunities with Pathways have grown and I must say “yes” to those opportunities. In addition to locations in the US, my work with Pathways will be taking me to Australia, Switzerland, Mexico, and Italy in the very near future. In those travels, I will be working with businessmen and women who are motivated to improve their leadership skills and the wellness culture in their workplace.
This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I have wrestled with my decision for a number of weeks now. The campaign is very strong, the support is broad-based, and I still believe I am the best candidate to win the seat. However, I am motivated by a passion to serve and my opportunity with Pathways gives me the ability to serve immediately. I could spend the next 14 months campaigning for the opportunity to make a difference or I could spend the next 14 months actually making a difference in the lives of others.
So, today I am announcing that I am ending my campaign for congress in the 4th district.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank my staff, my volunteers, and all those who invested time, energy, and hope in our campaign. I am thrilled that I have been a vehicle for their involvement in the political process. Those that have been empowered by my campaign will continue to use their voice to impact the politics of their communities… I am certain of it. And although I won’t be their candidate I will continue to be their friend and will fight side by side with them to change our country and the world.
Paid for by Angie Paccione for Congress
Angie Paccione for Congress, P.O. Box 1292, Fort Collins, CO 80522 ph: 970-224-9370