UPDATE #2: No Penry run for Rep. John Salazar’s CD-3 seat or Lt. Gov., says MSNBC (pretty much what we said at the bottom of the post a little earlier):
A campaign source says that up-and-comer Josh Penry decided against a CO-GOV primary challenge against Scott McInnis, his former boss when McInnis was in Congress, because he was scared off, in part, by a 527 that was ramping up for McInnis that was set to go after Penry. [Pols emphasis] He is sitting out the 2010 cycle and is NOT running for CO-3 despite the rumors…
The source added that Penry’s Name ID, they were seeing, was only about 15% to 20% statewide, and Penry felt that a 527 and a nasty political fight could have ruined or significantly damaged his reputation and hurt his political capital with Republicans. This path helps Penry, who’s only 33, build up political capital, the source said.
UPDATE: Denver Post puts uncertainty to bed, though Penry himself has yet to make a statement:
Two sources who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak on Penry’s behalf confirmed for The Denver Post that Penry intends to leave the race.
One source said an announcement was imminent and that Penry met with McInnis Monday morning to inform him of the decision. Penry explained he was leaving the race for “personal reasons,” the source said.
Penry has not returned phone calls seeking comment…
Washington Post’s The Fix blog, holy [expletive]:
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).
Chatter in the immediate aftermath of Penry’s decision suggested he may well 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.)
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.
Obviously this would be a major move, but it would make a lot of sense. For all the “rising star” accolades, Penry is clearly not yet ready for a race like this, and badly losing a primary is a quick way to end both the “rising” and the “star.” A Penry loss also knocks him out of the State Senate and his Minority Leader status, leaving him in a tough spot to make a jump to higher office at a later date.
If this is true, it makes much more sense for Penry to run for re-election to the Senate and then re-assess his future later. Leaving this race to take on Rep. John Salazar and his million-dollar warchest would be silly and completely counterproductive. You don’t leave a tough race that you might lose in order to run in another tough race that you might lose (especially when there is no way to transfer the money you raised for Governor to a Federal campaign).
As for McInnis, internal polling numbers and fundraising reports obviously show that he is in a great position. This is what we said when McInnis announced he wouldn’t debate Penry — clearly McInnis knew he was in the catbird’s seat.
The timing of Penry’s announcement does put McInnis in an interesting predicament where Gov. Bill Ritter is concerned. McInnis was in a great position where he was — raising money and not having to stake out positions on tough issues — but now he can’t avoid the spotlight as the presumptive GOP nominee (sorry, Dan Maes). Whether McInnis is really ready for that is another question.
And finally, this is the worst-case scenario for Ritter. Both polling and common sense (McInnis is much more moderate than Penry) showed that Penry was the better general election opponent for Ritter; but even if McInnis had won the primary outright, at least he would have had to spend the next nine months in a slugfest. Now McInnis can save all of his powder for the general election.
If this is true (both McInnis running solo for Gov for the GOP) and Penry is going after Salazar instead, then I think the ‘pubs have just increased their chances of doing well at the midterms in this state dramatically. I’m not sure Penry can unseat Salazar but he’s got a much better shot at it than anyone else I’ve heard of. And McInnis, who can now be free of a divisive fight forcing him to go wingnut, could give that pantywaist Ritter a run for it too.
We’ll see if it’s true, but The Fix doesn’t just post unsubstantiated rumors.
He’s done something at least halfway intelligent by bailing. Now we need to see if Romanoff can equal Penry’s intelligence level. 😉
Stepping aside to fight for another day is more than just half way intelligent. Penry Raised plenty of money and ran an effective campaign. However, unlike GOP candidates from the past, Penry sees a clear path to GOP victory and he chose to be a statesman rather than a mad-man.
just the fact that Cillizza put this up SERIOUSLY undermines Pentry politically. The tail just might wag the dog on this one.
Hey twas brilling,
What do you mean by Cillizza?
Chris Cillizza writes The Fix for the Washington Post.
He’s been doing this series on up-and-coming Repubs across the country, and he feature Penry as one of them a month or so ago.
He wouldn’t be publishing a rumor like this unless there was some truth to it.
Does this mean everyone can stay on the payroll at Mesa State?
then this is a win/win for McInnis and I bet he’s a happy man this afternoon.
Does Penry have to give any back?
Can he spend it to run for the House?
Can he spend it to run for re-election?
Can he hire his wife and pay her big salary?
Can he start a phony charity and never donate?
Penry’s out and now McInnis can concentrate on beating Ritter, which is what we need.
And it’s not “if” it’s true…because it is…
Transfers to other state races. He can move his Governor money right over to his State Senate account.
for his state re-election bid. My, this has worked out nicely for him, hasn’t it?
He can trade up State->Federal, but not trade down.
I’m gonna get my nose in Teh Google and see what the rules are.
Under FEC regulations, a candidate’s federal campaign committee may not accept funds or assets transferred from a committee established by the same candidate for a nonfederal election campaign. 11 CFR 110.3(d).
I was thinking he could move it over to his own coffers for his State Senate re-election campaign but it appears that is not the case.
The individual max for statewide races is $1050 and for state legislator races is $400. I bet he can still transfer up to $400/person to his Senate race.
The rest can go to his favorite charity to help the poor, struggling Oil and Gas Executives that bankrolled him in the first place.
Even if every person didn’t contribute $400 or more? That sounds like cheatin’
Not $400 for every person. If Republican A gave him $1050 he could only transfer $400 of it to his Senate race and the rest would have to go somewhere other than his Senate race. If Republican B gave Penry’s campaign $150, he could move over that $150.
Sorry if I was unclear.
the link was cited above, obvious to all
so I don’t expect any money return. But I did send him an email. Can he donate his ill-gotten email lists to me? Or will he give the lists to Scooty?
He may be able to transfer some of it, but aren’t there limits to how much of it he can transfer. The Post article contains a quote from someone in the S.O.S. Elections Division.
One thing he cannot do is transfer it to a federal race.
BTW, it is certain he’s running for re-election to the state Senate? He’d be foolish not too, but doesn’t this upset the ambitions of Steven King (the scary legislator, not the scary writer) and Beastiality Rowland?
Truthfully it comes in a distant 3rd to Wes McKinley’s impressive cowboy handlebar/walrus and Randy Baumbardner’s very scary Biker/Horseshoe (although fearful Moustachianatos report that it may have been shaved this summer).
Seriously though, Steve voted with the Dems last year on a bill that Beth McCann voted against so he’s got that going for him.
and have a “free” shot at Salazar in 2012, when he would be in the middle of a four year term. Even then, however, a loss to Salazar wouldn’t add lustre to his record. But Salazar might not run in 2012. Penry is obviously young enough to run in 2014, assuming Ritter is re-elected, or 2018. Or 2022 or 2026…
Salazar’s district could look quite different in 2012 following redistricting…and a Governor McInnis could well pay back Penry for exiting the race now by rewarding him with a more favorable district free of Pueblo and areas more friendly to Salazar…
What is the depth of Cillizza’s Colorado contacts?
Why would information like this come through a DC reporter and not a more local source?
On the other hand McInnis still has strong DC connections that he could force a rumor like this through and force Penry to deny the rumor, but plant the seed with the rank & file?
I am not saying this is what is happening, I need to know more.
On a related note
I hope his family is ok.
Sometimes “personal reasons” is real.
Maybe a girlfriend?
Maybe a headache.
Maybe it’s his time of the month.
Maybe he wants to move back to GJ.
And his people are more connected in DC.
He’s been doing a series on up-and-coming Republicans recently, and has tossed bouquets at Penry’s feet.
I have confirmed this through a different source altogether. However, that source states that Penry is going to run for Lt. Gov.
There’s no job in state government so inconsequential as governor-light. Josh’s ego couldn’t take it.
First, you don’t run for Lt. Gov – you get selected by the party gubernatorial candidate to run as a ticket.
Second, a ticket completely from Grand Junction?
McInnis will pick a woman from Colorado Springs. He’s proven to be a lot better at math than Penry.
Scooter didn’t go to Grand Junction schools.
I think he will pick a woman but I don’t think she’ll be from the Springs. That’s GOP country anyway, he’s needs to go somewhere that he can wrap up some more votes that he needs.
She’s quite shy and reserved, not known to “go rogue”….the perfect runningmate.
Why Janet Rowland was such a bad pick for Beauprez in 2006. He picked a Mesa County Commissioner – a person from the one part of the state that he DIDN’T need help winning.
How abour Michelle Bachman?
Did Doug Bruce ever get delivery on that Russian or Ukranian mail-order bride he was reportedly looking at?
He had quite the endorsement list. Are they left with a bad taste in their mouth over Penry’s early exit? To whom are the right wing Republicans going to turn other than McInnis? Are they going to toe the party line on this, or will there be a revolt a la NY-23 and the right wing will push a far-right candidate?
are probably quite upset. A sad, gloomy day in GJ, the Tiger-Maverick has failed.
A lot of WS GOP are still mad at McInnis for abandoning the 3rd CD.
I wonder if the mysterious 527 about to ramp up is
Scott’swhats-his-names…it must have some serious bank to scare little Josh away so quick. Kathy Hall resigning from COGA, Joshua dropping his bid and not seeking the 3rd CD…what will Rick Wagner do?
Always writing about how the GOP is coming back…how Democrats can’t really represent Western Colorado. He’s well known for mangled analogies, inaccurate historical references, and general douchebaggery.
I want to make that my new tagline, but I’m going to need you to say it about someone more well known. For a proper quote…
I believe Mr. Wagner has me beat. I try to keep my analogies simple, my historical references accurate, and well, I have no defense against claims of douchebaggery.
I needed you to say it again, only about someone else.
I’m relatively gruntled right now, that quote has to go.
He definitely gets the general douchebaggery award…
She seems to believe that Penry was running against McGuinnus not McInnis.
Thought you knew.
I don’t really live in Grand Jct…
had one-sided Janet Rowland ‘analysis’ weekly updates, although if I recall, under pressure, they brought in a contrary voice, like Teresa Coons or someone…correct?
What an incestuous little town you got up there!
who helped orchestrate Janet Rowland’s “Capitol Watch” scandal. And who lost her news director job shortly afterward.
is he committing seppuku right now ?
with what Wadhams is doing right now. Someone should put him on suicide watch.
losing his bff AND getting scooped!!!
It’s so true…he could be standing on a ledge right now!
Don’t you think he’d rather see Penry run in the 3rd instead of Tipton, who already got clobbered by Salazar?
wherever he lands. He is probably pissed to get scooped though, by Washington DC and Denver, Babylon East and Babylon West…
‘Hey, Dick, Scooter here. Nice day, what? When should we get together to start some strategy planning?……Oh, yeah, I’ve done some benders, too. Well call me when you’re sober, Dick.”
How come I received all kinds of breathless email updates from the Penry campaign that I didn’t care about the last couple of months, but now, when I would like some confirmation, he’s suddenly all coy and hard-to-get?
He didn’t wait until halfway through his term as Governor to quit. He quit years before he might have won the race.
Dude! You are the Palin-ator Supreme!
McInniss must have new advisors to actually make a logical decision without putting his foot in his mouth. If he can maintain the momentum, he stands a good shot at taking out our current self-serving, disappointing Governor.
Disappointing is a big maybe considering the state of the economy but “self serving” is a worthless adjective. Ritter taking controversial stands on school taxes and winning served the under funded schools in this state. Ritter reducing state government to balance the state budget served the people of Colorado and was exactly the kind of decisions that he was elected to make. Ritter has done his job and is a proven state wide candidate. Everyone already anointing shady Scott McInnis and his Tom Delay tainted past are getting ahead of themselves. You had an up and coming and whacked teabagger versus an out of touch and shady holdover in the GOP primary. Now selling the second coming of a west slope Beauprez is going to be harder than you think.
The reports of Governor Ritters’ demise are a bit premature. McInnis is up to his ears in “politics as usual”. I don’t think that book is a bestseller this time around.
My opinions are “worthless” to you, but obviously not to me. It takes no intelligence to call someone else’s viewpoint “worthless” simply because you disagree. You like Ritter. I don’t. Get over yourself.
Ritter cutting jobs is not “reducing state government to balance the budget” to me. Ask the people he’s dumped if they appreciate his cuts, ask their families how they like his move.
Ritter being “a proven state wide candidate” says nothing about the quality of his performance. Try thinking clearly, if you’re able. Being a “proven state wide candidate” proves he’s a legitimate candidate. Big whoop. If I had Ritter’s money machine and power, I’d be a “proven candidate” as well.
And just because I don’t care for Ritter as a man or governor, does not mean I’ll vote for tipsy McInnis, either. The ability to type does not afford you the ability (which you don’t have) to try to shut me down simply because I disagree with your opinion.
I was really torn between voting in the Repub primary or the Dem primary.
Easy decision now.
McInnis all the way, like we need another 4 years of Ritter, that’d be like voting for Obama again…a really big mistake.
was in a grumpy mood yesterday. Penry has a better shot at satisfying his ambitions in a CD3 race than he ever did at governor. The rest of the state does not buy in to Penry’s extremist uberCon ideology much as the congressional district does. It would still be a long shot against John though.
“Is anyone else here tired of the flimflam, mealy-mouthed Republican?” –Josh Penry
sounds all but official…
However, I might reword that first sentence in the quote to read:
a great day for Colorado!
That’s Josh’s taxpayer funded
campaign officeSenate Minority Office is being shuttered? I mean what else do they do besides send out Penry campaign talking points?
And I mean that, sincerely. Get out while you still look gracious doing it, even if you really are just getting out because you’re getting your ass kicked in fundraising and name recognition. Get out now and the Party will love you for forgoing a bruising primary. Get out now and build that political capital and hey, Josh, while you’re at it, learn how to run a campaign.
If McInnis loses, Penry still positioned well to be the R nominee in 2014. If McInnis wins, Penry positioned to get McInnis suppport for whatever he pursues in the future, house seat, senate, or gov in 2018. Only scenario it is bad is if Penry thought he could win the primary and the general. Clearly he thought he couldn’t.
even the the Josh First motivation is true (and I believe it is).
…to have primary debates with Scooter now?
Plus, don’t Wadhams and Scooter hate each other?
DIdn’t want to run for VP while Gov, or failed Gov candidate is more likely
His campaign is lathargic and he has squandered his political capital. Good luck selling the “New and improved Colorado Promise.”
but what do I know…
McInnis will be more difficult to beat than Penry, statewide, I think, but he is not quite the ‘moderate’ he is portrayed to be.
The ‘Put-a-Lobbyist-in-office’ mantra will work for several GOP candidates this year in Colorado. McInnis won’t energize the teabag vote as much as Penry would have–its hard for a 6 term former Congressman from the era of DeLay/Abramhoff to run as an anti-politician. Still, the chance to vote against Ritter–since none of them are FOR anything–will no doubt turn some teabaggers out. Ritter needs to focus on energizing his base.
Ritter is below a 50% approval rating, and he’s trailing McInnis in everything I’ve seen. Polling-wise, Penry was a weaker opponent.
The campaign has a lot of work to do, but it’s got to be at least a little easier knowing who you your opponent (in all likelihood, barring a dark horse far-right candidate stepping up to battle McInnis) is going to be.
and an angry, or at least unenthusiastic, base Ritter has his work cut out for him.
He has made some tough–but I think sound–calls on the second issue, and this is where he should put his effort as governor; the first is mostly beyond his control (but he should keep it his top priority for messaging and leadership). His campaign needs to work on the third point–shoring up Democratic, and progressive, support.
Other than Andrews who else?
Run Tom Run!
But he actually should run.
that would take some wind out of McLobbyist’s sails…the teabaggers would go for Loony Tunes, the establishment for Millionaire Lawyer-Lobbyist, and whomever emerged, bloody and broke, would go on to re-elect Gov. Ritter.
In an e-mail to supporters, campaign director David Kenney had this to say:
Campaign message courtesey of Josh Penry.
his boss hired McInnis at the law firm they worked at together, seems he didn’t have a problem with his politics then.
How do you conclude that Ritter hired McInnis? Just became they worked at the same place? Oh yeah, cuz I hired everyone who works at my job.
In any event, it may turn out that people have different expectations and qualifications when choosing a governor (v. choosing another blood-sucking law firm partner with whom to split profits).
So it must be true! No … wait … it was just you writing the same thing 2 minutes ago.
So is this a trial balloon for the McInnis campaign theme? “Ritter and McInnis worked together! Which means … something….”
Repetition=truth. Repeat the same BS over and over and sooner or later, it becomes fact–it’s the GOP Way.
Unless Tim Foster has set aside a nice cushy job at Mesa State for him, Penry will “reconsider” and run for re-election. Penry couldn’t bare to be out of circulation waiting for John Salazar to retire and he wouldn’t be as helpful to McInnis either as a lame duck in the legislature. Who really cares about Steve King’s political career at this juncture when the Prince-of-the-Republicans future is in a log-jam?
King can revert to running in HD54 again. Too bad for the two clowns who announced for the House seat. Politics ain’t a sport for sissies, guys. The young prince must be served, and shit rolls downhill.
To the Penry sockpuppet/shill crew: TaxCheatGeithner and Ram2010 (if I’m missing anyone, sorry!)
You guys did a top notch job ripping apart McInnis on a daily basis since even before Penry announced. You’ll be missed. Truly. Thanks for all the ammo.
Nice one, RSB
Got to put all of his best quotes about McLobbyist into a mashup.
It was all political, right? So much for public property rights.
Is still on your side, I believe.
It doesn’t matter that McInnis is “more moderate,” he was running from that moderate shit and he made the mistake of going on the record. He’s out of touch, unstable, and a flip-flopper. He’s Beauprez the sequel.
Hearing me, Anschutz? Cranberg? Mark my words, you re-elected Bill Ritter today!
No one is as bad as Beauprez.
And you think Ritter is in touch and stable? I saw him over this past week give a crappy stump speech. The guy is already using the, “I know you don’t like me and my policies, but…” You can’t win a campaign that way.
The biggest impact this will have is a negative on on the GOP. The GOP is screwed until it works out how it’s going to move forward. And the way political parties do that is primaries. McInnis/Penry was perfectly set up for that. Very bad news for the GOP.
It’s also bad news for all of us political junkies. Bennet/Romanoff is over. Norton/Buck/Wiens has been boring (so far). What are we going to talk about?
It’s great news for Ritter. Penry could have beat Ritter. It was uphill but doable. But McInnis, I just don’t see how. McInnis is the same story as Beauprez & Schaffer – GOP guy who’s been around forever and doesn’t realize campaigning has changed. (The fact that he tweets doesn’t mean he understands how to use it.)
And for those that will counter that Ritter’s team only sort-of knows how to campaign in the age of the net – yep. But there are a lot more of us on the left effectively helping on the net than people on the right. A Dem only needs to be competent on the net to have the advantage there.
So the GOP put off the day of working out what they want to be and gave up the governorship. Ritter just got 4 more years. And we have nothing to talk about.
I can live with that 🙂
The voters felt the same way you do. All the political junkies on this page may look that deeply into it but not the average voter. As long as Ritter keeps doing what he’s doing then he’ll be just as screwed as the rest of them.
You know, Penry’s not your opponent anymore. You might want to change that sig line.
Actually, give them another 11 months of it. My guess is McInnis won’t even see the loss he’s facing till election evening.
My sig line wasn’t just for the purpose of the governor’s race. Penry still holds an office which means my sig line is still true or maybe not, in your opinion, but either way I’ll keep it, thank you very much.
Penry has little base outside of Grand Jct, as his fundraising shows, and even his defenders were noting in some of the articles today that he was likely to be the one most bloodied in a primary, possibly stunting his career.
(I still think it likely that Josh would have carried the West Slope in the primary, but that doesn’t get the win).
McInnis’ 527 was gearing up to go after Josh, which scared him away. Smart move for Penry if he wants to advance; he’ll be back, now that he avoids defeat in the primary and wins kudos from GOP leadership.
This is Colorado. Retail campaigning still matters. Face to face, and not Facebook, matters.
Don’t sell Scooter short. Ritter needs the economy to improve. If it doesn’t, he’s got a tough road. If it does improve, he wins.
Scooter is still a fine one-on-one campaigner, and he can raise money. You may not believe it, but most normal people aren’t married to the net.
Most of us on this blog are, by definition, not normal.
But the net is the equal of feet on the ground and has more impact than anything else except paid TV. I saw it locally here in Boulder with the election that just ended – low turnout, not major issues – historically that means the Sierra Club slate wind in a landslide.
Except… Of the 4 Sierra Club candidates – 2 won. Of the 5 main moderate candidates – 3 won. (Take out the incumbents and it was even more lopsided 0 – 2.)
What changed is a large number of people were willing to put in the time to Google the candidates where before the only low effort resources were the endorsements. It made for a big change.
And you have more an more voters in my situation – we don’t see any TV commercials, we don’t read any printed news, and Google determines in large part what we learn about candidates & issues.
If the race is close, owning the net is good for 6 – 12 points. And that’s everything state-wide in Colorado.
With that said, Ritter has it a lot easier if unemployment drops.
(I doubt even in Boulder).
You think the web matters as much as feet on the ground??? Retail still carries the day, the web is important and campaigns need to know how to use it, but 6-12 points??? Based on what do you make that claim? (PS 6-12 points is not an indication of anything resembling a close election).
Normally the best placed loser has at most ½ the votes of the last place winner. It tends to be a gigantic difference.
But this election the top 4 losers were all within a couple of points of the lowest placed winner. And the candidates from the two slates were mixed MLLM. Something very different happened in this election.
Right, except that in Aurora, two city council incumbents (one of whom was as net-savvy as any of that suburb’s candidates) got knocked off by a plain, old-fashioned robo-call and feet-on-the-ground GOTV campaign. The one candidate targeted by Ryan Call’s anti-tax campaign who survived was Bob FitzGerald, who notoriously doesn’t even know how to read e-mails. How’d he win? TV commercials and feet on the ground.
You’re also underestimating the web activity and prowess of the McInnis campaign.
And the trick is not to know what the net is, it’s to use it effectively. In ’08 Bob Schaffer got destroyed on the net. And I’m guessing he still doesn’t realise how that impacted his campaign.
McInnis may be putting effort into the web, but I don’t see anything terribly effective. (And no, I’m not going to list out what he could be doing.)
On the flip side, there’s still time for the McInnis campaign to learn. Hopefully they won’t.
we will see an extra-puffy piece? Maybe bring towels to pat each other’s tears? You could still ask him about the demise of his Balloon Daddy campaign. Or did his Roberto Duran moment include you also? 🙂
If what I heard this evening is true, Penry is finished in politics. He apparently has a youthful indescretion that he would prefer not be revealed. If he withdraws and can keep it quiet, he will not embarrass his family.
Also in the gossip was that a well-known Denver person is planning to give Ritter a primary. God, do you have to live in the boonies to hear this crap?
You can’t post that Josh Penry had a “youthful indiscretion” and that Bill Ritter is getting a primary challenger in one bretah without at leats giving us more infor one or the other.
Honestly, I’m more interested in the latter, but either way you should probably back up the gossip with some semblance of fact.
Would that be running for governor against a former six-term congressman?
but I’ll get killed if I give details at this point.
isn’t that what leaking is all about?
must have found some good materials in their oppo research to compel Josh to so quickly drop out, letting the story get out before even his own home town paper, or fellow GJ legislators, heard the news.
Not sure of the veracity of PG’s claims, but there is moe to this story.
From Monday’s Denver Business Journal:
Sondermann said. “Of Ritter, McInnis and Penry, it was Penry, in my mind, who was running the superior campaign. He had a very sharp political message.”