CO-Gov: Penry to exit race
Colorado state Sen. Josh Penry (R) plans to end his gubernatorial campaign and endorse former Rep. Scott McInnis (R), according to two sources familiar with his thinking.
Penry's decision to opt out of the race is a stunner as many national Republicans had touted him as a potential rising star (and we had featured him in our "Rising" series that looks at up and coming politicians).
Political chatter in the immediate aftermath of Penry's decision suggested he might be considering a run against 3rd district Rep. John Salazar (D) who won the Western Slope seat when McInnis retired in 2004. Salazar's seat is one of 49 held by Democrats that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried in 2008. (McCain won it 50 percent to 48 percent for President Barack Obama.) But, Republicans already have a candidate -- state Rep. Scott Tipton -- they are high on in the race.
Sources close to Penry suggested that he was heavily influenced by the victories for Republicans in New Jersey and Virginia last week -- wins due, at least in part, to the lack of competitive primaries on the Republican side.
Penry was worried that a bruising August primary would potentially compromise the eventual nominee's chances of beating Ritter. Combine that with his youth (he is 33) and his role as state Senate Minority Leader and Penry decided that dropping out of the race was the best option for him and the party.
McInnis, who spent six terms in Congress, now has a clear shot at Gov. Bill Ritter (D) next fall. Democrats have expressed serious concern about Ritter's electoral prospects and his poll numbers have lagged badly since he was elected in a landslide in 2006.
Penry was elected to the state House in 2004 and to the state Senate in 2006. Prior to his career in elected office, he had served as a staffer to McInnis in Congress -- a fact that made the potential primary all the more delicious.
McInnis beat Penry in the first race within the race, raising $545,000 to Penry's $400,000 between July 1 and September 30. Ritter collected $452,000 during that time.
Posted by: reason5 | November 10, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mnteng | November 9, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bsimon1 | November 9, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: scrivener50 | November 9, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nodebris | November 9, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: drindl | November 9, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: snowbama | November 9, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: AndyR3 | November 9, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.