McInnis, Palmer to run for Mesa commission

More than a year before the Nov. 4, 2014, election, the District 2 seat on the Mesa County Board of Commissioners has two official candidates.

Former congressman and gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis and former Grand Junction Mayor Gregg Palmer filed paperwork last week with the Colorado Secretary of State to become Republican candidates for the seat. Current District 2 representative Steve Acquafresca is term-limited.

Palmer, who owns Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. at 425 Main St., said he would prioritize a full-time commissioner position over his current work if elected. He said he has mulled a run for the soon-to-be open seat ever since he left the Grand Junction City Council in 2011 after eight years of service.

Although he anticipates a learning curve tackling the difference between city and county governance, Palmer believes having experience in local government is an advantage in his candidacy, adding he has more local experience than McInnis.

“It’s not a job I need, it’s a job I want,” Palmer said, referring to the commissioner seat. “I’m committed to running and serving a full term. The county needs someone who wants to serve at that level.”

McInnis, who works part-time for Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, said he does want to serve at the local level. He said he worked with numerous counties and municipalities during his time as a legislator and hopes to tackle land issues, budget operations, constitutional issues and second amendment rights at the county level if elected.

“It’s a different ball game but not a game I’m unfamiliar with,” he said. “I’m not taking anything away from (city) council (work) but this job is much, much broader.”

McInnis said he anticipates more candidates will enter the field from various parties, which is competition he welcomes. So far, though, only Palmer and McInnis have filed candidate paperwork.

Palmer will announce his candidacy at 1:25 p.m. Wednesday on the steps of the Old Mesa County Courthouse, 544 Rood Ave. McInnis said he plans to have an announcement event at a later date.


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