Former Colorado governor Richard Lamm, who challenged Ross Perot for the 1996 Reform Party presidential nomination, died yesterday at the age of 85. According to Colorado Public Radio, Lamm died after suffering complications from a pulmonary embolism.
Lamm, who served as governor of Colorado for three terms (1975–1987) as a Democrat, sought the presidential nomination of the Reform Party after industrialist Ross Perot founded the party in 1995. Perot later decided to seek the nomination himself and defeated Lamm. Lamm had previously written a fictional novel about a Democratic governor of Texas who ran for president in 1988 as an independent candidate.
In a 2019 interview, Lamm explained what he had wanted for the Reform Party:
My (our) whole purpose was to find some well known and respected candidates to take on the two party system. One governor was not enough and we recognized that. My dream was to get John McCain and Bob Kerry of Nebraska to make up the ticket. Two medal of honor winners, etc. It would take a powerful and visible ticket to succeed. (If that) I did not originally get involved in this movement to be the candidate. We were a bunch of reformers in search for a candidate who could not find the right team.
Lamm is survived by his wife of 58 years, Dottie Lamm, with whom he had two children. Dottie was herself a Democratic candidate for Governor of Colorado in 1998.