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DENVER | The Republican gubernatorial candidate in Colorado rejected an offer on Wednesday from former Congressman Tom Tancredo for both men to get out of the race and let the party pick a new candidate.

State Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams said he delivered the offer to Republican nominee Dan Maes after Mr. Tancredo offered it as a compromise to give Republicans a chance to win back the governor’s office in November. Mr. Tancredo bolted from the party last month to run as an American Constitution Party candidate.

Tom Tancredo contacted me late Monday to indicate he would withdraw from the race for governor if Dan Maes did so as well,” Mr. Wadhams said. “I asked Tom for the opportunity to present this offer to Dan Maes, which I did do this morning. I felt it was my responsibility as state chairman to inform Dan of this offer since it held open the possibility of eliminating the current three-way race that gives the Democratic candidate a huge advantage.”

Mr. Maes beat challenger Scott McInnis in the GOP primary Tuesday after both men rejected a demand from Mr. Tancredo that they get out of the race and let the party pick a new candidate if polls showed neither man could beat Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper after the primary.

Since then, Mr. Maes has been struggling to get support from national party leaders, who doubt the party can win if Mr. Tancredo stays in the race.

HEALTH CARE

Medicare premiums, benefits to rise

The government says seniors will pay a little more for Medicare prescription coverage next year but that benefits will improve.

The average monthly premium charged by prescription plans will rise to $30 in 2011, an increase of $1, or about 3 percent, federal health officials said Wednesday. About 27 million Medicare beneficiaries are signed up for the prescription benefit, delivered by private insurers.

Seniors with high drug costs can expect a noticeable improvement next year. The new health care law cuts the cost of brand-name drugs by 50 percent - and 7 percent off on generics - for Medicare recipients who fall into the coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole.”

VIRGINIA

Congressman OKs signs at town halls

RICHMOND | Rep. Tom Perriello, Virginia Democrat, is lifting a ban on signs at his town-hall forums across his district in this re-election year after being challenged on it by a conservative civil liberties group.

Michael Kelly, a spokesman for Mr. Perriello’s congressional office, said the prohibition was lifted after a civil liberties group warned Mr. Perriello that it violated free speech rights.

The ban was put into place earlier this month after supporters brought Mr. Perriello yard signs into a town-hall constituent gathering held as official congressional business, not a campaign event. Perriello advisers said the signs obstructed the view and distracted people attending the question-and-answer sessions.

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