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McCain Avoiding Colorado Senate Campaign Due To Close Ties To Dem

Don’t expect to see Arizona Sen. John McCain campaigning on behalf of fellow Republican Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner in Colorado any time soon.

The former GOP presidential candidate told the Denver Post that he is too close to the family of Colorado’s incumbent Democratic senator to campaign against him.

McCain was tight with late Democratic Congressman Morris “Mo” Udall, whose son Mark is locked in a tight race with Gardner. The outcome of the race, as well as several other heated contests, could tip the Senate in favor of Republicans.

McCain is campaigning for GOP candidates in Kansas, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Oregon. But he’s conspicuously avoiding Colorado.

When asked by a reporter for the Denver Post if that’s because of McCain’s close relationship to Udall, a spokesman answered, “and his father, yes.”

The Post ran an excerpt from a 1997 New York Times Magazine profile of the Arizona senator in which McCain credits Mo Udall with helping him navigate the early years of his career and offering him advice and council when he succeeded Barry Goldwater in the Senate in 1987.

“Mo reached out to me in 50 different ways,” McCain recalled in the Times Magazine piece. “There’s no way Mo could have been more wonderful and there was no reason for him to be that way.”

The piece also recounts how McCain was the elder Udall’s only regular visitor when Udall was hospitalized with Parkinson’s disease.

And on the campaign trail in 2008, a reporter for the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News asked McCain if he would endorse Mark Udall’s Senate race because of his relationship with Udall’s father. McCain fell short of endorsing him, but said that Mark Udall is a “wonderful young man.”

Senator Udall turned 64 in July.

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