Haney quits congressional race after FEC complaint filed

The Colorado Statesman

Chiropractor Dr. Perry Haney of Lone Tree announced Wednesday he is withdrawing from the race in the 6th Congressional District against incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman, leaving Denver state Rep. Joe Miklosi as the sole remaining Democratic candidate.

Haney announced his decision less than 24 hours after the Colorado Republican Party filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission over a possible campaign finance violation, but Haney wrote in an email blast to supporters that his decision was based on his inability to devote enough time and energy to the race.

“Unfortunately, my medical clinic that employs 45 people and treats many patients from the 6th District is not at a point where it can sustain operations with my full-time absence,” Haney said. “It is not what I anticipated, but I cannot in good conscience risk my colleagues’ and staff employment and healthcare benefits while I pursue a run for Congress.”

Although Haney made no mention of the FEC complaint, Colorado Republican Party Chair Ryan Call sent out an email Wednesday suggesting that Haney’s decision was a direct result of the complaint they filed.

“Perry Haney apparently thought the rules didn’t apply to him,” Call wrote in his statement. “But he saw the writing on the wall as his failed campaign quickly began to unravel.”

The complaint submitted by the Colorado GOP raised multiple allegations of campaign law violations: that Haney ran both an exploratory committee and a congressional committee simultaneously; that he did not register as a candidate with the FEC for months after he made donations over $5,000 to his own campaign fund; and that he failed to officially report his candidacy to the FEC within 15 days of referring to himself as a candidate in a Youtube video posted on August 19, all of which would be violations of FEC law under the “testing the waters” provision.

The complaint also criticized Haney for misreporting the numbers in his campaign account.

Haney told The Colorado Statesman in an email Thursday that his attorney Neil Reiff, who specializes in election law, said the FEC complaint was “one of the most bogus complaints he has ever seen.” Haney said that the complaint would not have caused his campaign significant problems should he have chosen to stay in the race, and he reiterated his personal reasons behind his decision.

“About a month ago, I came to the realization that my medical practice was not sustainable and I could not run it and the campaign at the same time,” Haney wrote. “I cancelled a fundraiser a few weeks ago and I instructed my staff to draft a withdrawal statement.”

Haney continued, “Over the past few weeks, I sought out advice from family, staff, supporters, and my consultants to see if we could run it with my limited availability. We just couldn’t make it work and I had to do right by my patients and employees and withdraw from the race.”

The former candidate said he would consider running again in the future, but his current plan is to continue to focus on his practice. He said he plans to meet with Miklosi on Monday to discuss the Democratic candidate’s campaign and said that he plans to stay politically active through the election.

Before withdrawing from the race, Haney had loaned his campaign $421,000. The amount more than doubles Miklosi’s fundraising total so far, which currently sits at $173,700.

The recently re-drawn district is based around the city of Aurora. Active voters in the district are comprised of 31 percent registered Democrats, 40 percent registered Republicans, and 29 percent unaffiliated, according to the latest voter registration numbers from the Secretary of State’s office.

Ben@coloradostatesman.com