Penry quiet about 2010 election plans, won’t be McInnis’ running mate

Josh Penry, seen here crossing the podium in front of the Colorado state flag during the rally in which he announced his candidacy for governor,  has dropped out of the Colorado gubernatorial race.

State Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, said he isn’t interested in joining the ticket of his onetime rival, Scott McInnis, as the candidate for lieutenant governor.

“If I were hell-bent on being on the ticket, I’d still be in the race,” Penry said last week when asked about reports that he might be interested in the lieutenant governor slot.

Penry, however, didn’t tip his hand on a question that has five Republicans watching closely — his decision whether to run for a second term in the state Senate.

Penry last month withdrew from the Republican race for the nomination to oppose Democrat Gov. Bill Ritter in the 2010 general election, leaving McInnis, a six-term congressman, as the front-runner against the lesser-known Dan Maes, an Evergreen businessman, in the GOP race.

“I’m focused on helping Scott do what needs to be done to beat (Gov.) Bill Ritter and make sure we elect a lot of Republicans to the House and Senate in 2010,” Penry said.

Penry has made several joint appearances with McInnis around the state, so it was only a matter of time before observers began to speculate on whether he would run with McInnis for governor, he said.

McInnis has “no list of any kind” for lieutenant-governor candidates, according to his campaign spokesman, Sean Duffy.

State Rep. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, an announced candidate for Penry’s Senate seat, has said he won’t run for the post if Penry opts to seek a second Senate term.

Four Republicans — David Cox, Robert Hislop, Duncan McArthur and Ray Scott — are vying for the nomination to run for King’s House District 54 seat, which includes parts of Mesa and Delta counties.

No Democrats have announced plans to run for the Senate seat or the House seat.


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