Rep. Coffman Won’t Try to Unseat Sen. Bennet

Photo: Rep. Mike Coffman
House Veterans' Affairs Committee member Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., second from right, gets into a heated exchange with Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, during the committee’s hearing on Department of Veterans Affairs budget on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015.

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman is not going to challenge incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet in next year's election.

Coffman said in a statement on Monday that he will instead run for re-election in his congressional seat in Denver's southeastern suburbs. National Republicans had pressured Coffman to run, thinking he was their best shot to unseat Bennet, a Democrat.

But Coffman said he wanted to stay in his seat and focus on getting a Veterans Administration hospital built in his district. Coffman is a veteran who has served in both Iraq wars.

He will still face a tough race in 2016. Coffman's district is almost evenly divided between Democrats, Republicans and independents. That makes him a regular top target of Democrats in congressional elections.