Some GOP nominees to skip convention

July 25, 2008 at 11:55 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 25 (UPI) -- Nine Republicans facing tough U.S. Senate races will pass up, or are considering passing up, the GOP convention, The National Journal reports.

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and Maine Sen. Susan Collins have decided not to travel to the convention in St. Paul, Minn. Instead, they will work on their re-election campaigns that week, the Journal said.

Alaska's primary election is set for Aug. 26, so Stevens and his potential Democratic challenger, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, will both miss their party conventions. Democratic Rep. Tom Allen, who is challenging Collins, plans to be in Denver for the Democratic convention.

Former Colorado Rep. Bob Schaffer, the Republican nominee to succeed the retiring Sen. Wayne Allard, plans to skip the GOP convention. His opponent, Rep. Mark Udall, can attend the Democratic convention with little inconvenience -- it's in his home state.

Four incumbent Republican senators in competitive re-election races -- Elizabeth Dole, N.C.; Gordon Smith, Ore.; John Sununu, N.H.; and Roger Wicker, Miss. -- have not decided whether to go to the GOP convention. Neither have John Kennedy, who is challenging Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, or Rep. Steve Pearce, who faces Democrat Tom Udall for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Pete Domenici in New Mexico.

Most of the Democrats in those races -- Landrieu; Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley; former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen; and Tom Udall -- have either decided to attend their party convention in Denver or are leaning that way, the Journal said.

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