More jobs, lower taxes on McInnis’ radar

Creating more jobs and keeping taxes low were the biggest issues Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis touted during a campaign stop Saturday in Grand Junction.

McInnis received endorsements from all three Mesa County commissioners, other elected local leaders and state Sen. Josh Penry before speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of about 75 people at the Masonic Lodge No. 173, 2400 Consistory Court.

“We owe it to those hundreds of people (who have lost jobs) who aren’t thinking about quality of life or going to a basketball game, but about answering that question their kids are asking: ‘Are we going to have to move?’ ” McInnis said.

Gov. Bill Ritter’s decision not to run for another term was a rallying point and delight Saturday for GOP speakers who took shots at the Democratic party’s lack of a gubernatorial candidate and blamed Ritter’s energy policies for an exodus of natural gas jobs on the Western Slope.

Democrats have not announced a new candidate for governor.

Former Sen. Ken Salazar has said he will not run for the position, and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper reportedly is considering the race.

McInnis twice graciously acknowledged Penry for withdrawing his bid for governor late last year.

McInnis said his toughest candidate would have been Penry, and the “tough player is on our team now.”

Businessman Dan Maes of Evergreen is the only other Republican running for the seat.

McInnis said after the speech that fourth-quarter campaign contributions look “great,” but that numbers aren’t finalized.

McInnis earned $549,000 in campaign contributions in the third quarter, more than the $452,000 Ritter had raised during the same time period.

“I don’t mind raising money, and I like campaigning,” McInnis said.

McInnis served six terms in the U.S. House from Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes most of the Western Slope.


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