McInnis launches campaign for Colorado governor | SkyHiNews.com

McInnis launches campaign for Colorado governor

STEVEN K. PAULSON
Associated Press Writer

DENVER (AP) – Republican Scott McInnis has launched a statewide campaign for governor.

The former congressman told supporters Monday that Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter has made serious mistakes and deserves to be replaced.

McInnis said Ritter bet against Colorado’s gas industry with tough new regulations and against the military by rejecting expansion of a training facility. He said Ritter also is betting that allowing criminals to get early parole will not result in a crime wave.

“This governor, he’s made a couple big bets. Unfortunately, it’s our skin in the games. We’re the ones he’s putting on the table,” McInnis said.

McInnis said the difference between him and other candidates is experience, citing his record as majority leader of the state House, a member of Congress, a police officer and a volunteer firefighter.

“Wherever I go in this state, I hear the message loud and clear that Coloradans are eager to return vision, experience and the skills to deliver common sense results to the governor’s office,” McInnis said as supporters cheered on the steps of the state Capitol.

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Other announced candidates for the Republican primary next year include Evergreen businessman Dan Maes and state Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry.

Ritter’s campaign manager, David Kenney, said Ritter has created jobs with his campaign for a new energy economy and Ritter has boosted Colorado’s image as a good place for new businesses. Kenney said because of Ritter’s budget restraint, Colorado is in better shape than other states. He said McInnis has focused on helping his friends from his days in Congress while Colorado has been making progress.

“Scott McInnis is gambling that Colorado will fail, and Bill Ritter is betting that Colorado will succeed,” Kenney said.

Mike Britt, Penry’s campaign manager, said Penry also has the experience to lead Colorado.

“Senator Penry’s record speaks to balancing state budgets and dealing with issues that affect Coloradans, while Congressman McInnis’ experience has resulted in more debt, record deficits, and countless earmarks. It seems the congressman is experienced in delivering rehearsed political attacks, yet his record is one that fails to pass the leadership test Coloradans will demand from its chief executive,” Britt said.

Said Maes: “We’re glad to see Scott McInnis is out there touring the state of Colorado. We hope he brings more Republicans to the voting booth in next year’s election.”

Political consultant Katy Atkinson said McInnis and Penry both have legislative experience, and both of them have backers that include former and current lawmakers.

She said even though Republicans are divided over their support for the primary, they’ve managed to focus more on Ritter and his record than on each other.

State Rep. Bob Gardner, a Republican from Colorado Springs who is backing McInnis, said he doesn’t believe the primary will be divisive.

“We’re going to focus on the current governor of Colorado, who made some really bad bets and lost every one of them,” Gardner said.

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