McInnis says he’s ready to serve again
Former congressman Scott McInnis officially launched his bid for Mesa County commissioner on Saturday.
Speaking to a crowd of nearly 200 in front of the Pufferbelly Station Restaurant, 337 S. First St., McInnis said he was ready to serve in public office again.
He will be vying for the seat being vacated by Mesa County Commissioner Steve Acquafresca, who is term-limited and cannot run again.
McInnis will be running in a GOP primary race against former Grand Junction City Councilor and Mayor Gregg Palmer.
McInnis, 60, served more than 22 years in the Colorado Legislature and U.S. House of Representatives. He was a state representative from 1983 to 1992, spending some of that time as House majority leader.
McInnis was later elected to Congress representing the 3rd Congressional District, serving in that post from 1993 until he left in 2005.
In 2010, McInnis made an unsuccessful challenge for the Republican nomination for Colorado governor, losing that bid to Dan Maes, who later went on to lose the race to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
McInnis is executive director of the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado.
He told supporters at his Saturday campaign launch that his reasons for running after holding those high-profile positions isn’t about ego, but a genuine desire to serve the people of the county.
McInnis said when he first went to Washington, D.C., as a congressman, he was warned about not letting it taint him as a person, saying he was told “a congressman’s funeral is only as big as the weather allows.”
His announcement was attended by several well-known political players in the county, including former county Commissioner Janet Rowland, former state Rep. Matt Smith (who is McInnis’ brother-in-law), current Rep. Jared Wright, R-Fruita, and former state Sen. and University of Colorado Regent Tillie Bishop, who said he is supporting both McInnis and Palmer for the seat he once held.
In his campaign announcement, McInnis touted the amount of money he has been able to raise in the past six weeks since creating his campaign account with the Secretary of State’s Office.
In that time, the congressman collected $36,000. More than half of that money, $18,845, came from people outside of the county, some as far away as Florida, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., according to campaign finance reports.
Palmer, meanwhile, collected nearly $3,000 since announcing his bid for the seat in September, the bulk of which, $2,177, came from his former campaign account when he served on the City Council.