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Ex-Gov’s Wife Enters Senate Race

October 8, 1997

DENVER (AP) _ Dottie Lamm, Colorado’s first lady for 12 years, entered the race for the Senate on Wednesday, prompting a flint-on-steel campaign against Republican incumbent Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

``I think I can win that seat, and can bring some common sense and values and vision from Coloradans to a very incumbent Senate,″ she said.

Lamm, 60, said she will not rely on her husband, former Gov. Richard Lamm, in her first run for office next year.

``But he has been advising. He’s giving me advice that he never took _ like think before you speak,″ she said.

Lamm noted that she is not a political neophyte, citing her 25 years as an advocate on nonpartisan issues such as equality in the workplace and improving education. She said she will try to tap into Campbell’s supporters, especially women, saying many are disgruntled by his switch from the Democratic party in 1995.

``They are looking for somebody they can be for,″ she said, describing herself as ``a strong Democrat, but a moderate, centrist Democrat.″

Campbell, she said, is an ``undependable Republican because he changes so much on issues.″

When told of Lamm’s decision, Campbell responded, ``That’s nice,″ according to his spokesman Jim Doyle.

Campbell, Colorado’s senior senator, may face a GOP primary in his bid for a second term. Lamm now faces no apparent opposition, after one veteran politician, U.S. Rep. David Skaggs, dropped out of the race last week.

Richard Lamm was Colorado’s governor from 1975 to 1987. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Senate nomination 1992 _ losing to Campbell _ and ran a quixotic presidential bid two years ago as the Reform Party nominee.

State Democratic Party Chairman Phil Perington said Dottie Lamm learned from her husband’s primary race against Campbell five years ago.

``She saw what it takes and what you have to do,″ he said.

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