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With Dan Maes in Colorado governor race, can GOP just get along? Nope.

Insurgent candidates are causing intraparty battles nationwide this election season. But the case of Dan Maes and the Colorado governor race is unique. Republicans are unendorsing him.

By Staff writer / September 3, 2010

Dan Maes is the Republican candidate in the Colorado governor race.

Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post/AP

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Dan Maes apparently is still the Republican nominee for governor in Colorado, despite the fact that lots of state Republicans want him to withdraw.

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The close of business on Friday is the deadline for pulling out, and Mr. Maes says he is not going anywhere. People are “sick and tired of power brokers trying to dictate the results of this race. We’re not going anywhere,” Maes said Thursday.

This contretemps is only the latest turn in one of the midterm election’s juiciest sub-plots: candidates who are estranged from their own parties. But Maes may be the toughest of these cases. In Florida, the GOP is pulling behind gubernatorial nominee Rick Scott, despite all the nasty things he said about them. Likewise in Alaska, where outsider Joe Miller and all those establishment Republicans who backed his opponent, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, now seem to be getting along.

Businessman Maes beat former Rep. Scott McInnis in Colorado’s August primary despite – or maybe because of – his status as a political neophyte. At the time, Maes predicted that the state party hierarchy would fall in behind him as the general election got closer.

That hasn’t happened. The party establishment has remained wary of Maes, who in the past has been prone to such things as linking a Denver-area bike sharing program to radical United Nations-like ideology.

The last several days has seen the Denver Post publish a front-page story that establishes Maes exaggerated his work as a rookie police officer in Liberal, Kan., some 25 years ago. Records do not support his campaign biography’s contention that he was an undercover police officer, for instance.

State Republicans are increasingly concerned that Maes will lose to Democrat John Hickenlooper in the fall. Many of them are now unendorsing him – a step that’s pretty unusual in politics. (What’s next? Will they unfriend him on Facebook as well?)

GOP US Senate nominee Ken Buck withdrew his support for Maes on Friday. So did Rep. Mike Coffman.

Other prominent Colorado Republicans that have come out against Maes include former Sen. Hank Brown and former Rep. Bob Beuprez.

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