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Can GOP neutralize immigration as election issue?

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But Sharry said that Republicans like Coffman are fair game. The message to immigrant and Hispanic voters, Sharry said, will be: "He’s ineffective. He can’t get his party to stop screwing you."

Izzy Santa of the Republican National Committee scoffed at the notion that immigration could be used against Coffman and others. "They’re the members who are trying to move the issue forward," Santa said.

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Republicans are going after Coffman’s Democratic challenger, former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, on the issue.

The National Republican Congressional Committee released a Web ad last year chiding Romanoff for helping pass legislation in 2006 that Democrats boasted was the toughest package against illegal immigration in the country. The proposals barred people here illegally from receiving nonemergency benefits, and were criticized by some Republicans for not being stringent enough.

Democrats are frustrated at the attack. They say Romanoff has long supported immigration reform.


Follow Nicholas Riccardi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NickRiccardi.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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