DENVER -

Colorado Republican state Rep. Mark Waller has dropped out of the attorney general's race to avoid a GOP primary.

Waller made the announcement Monday. He says he believes there was a path to victory against Republican rival Cynthia Coffman, but that it would've created strife in the party. He says it's more important to work to keep the office in Republican hands.
    
Waller and Coffman were going to face off in a June 24 primary to decide who would run for the office currently held by term-limited Republican John Suthers.
    
The Democratic challenger is former Adams County District Attorney Don Quick.
    
Waller is serving his last year in the Legislature. He says he will be focusing on passing legislation to increase penalties for repeat drunken drivers.