Penry hasn’t made decision about McInnis endorsement

Mesa County Republicans lost one hometown hero in the gubernatorial race this week.

Luckily, they had a spare.

Mesa County Republican Party Chairman Chuck Pabst said Sen. Josh Penry of Grand Junction’s decision to exit the race to become the Republican nominee for governor was a good decision for party unity.

“Many people have pointed to Josh’s age, that he’s not mature enough or ready to be governor. But this type of decision just proves them wrong. He did a very selfless thing here,” Pabst said.

“I think with Josh and Scott (McInnis, another Grand Junction Republican running for governor) working together it’s something that will mark the end of Gov. (Bill) Ritter’s political career.”

How closely McInnis and Penry will work together remains to be seen. Penry sent an e-mail to his supporters Tuesday afternoon saying he needed more time to evaluate McInnis’ platform before handing over an endorsement.

“We don’t agree on everything, but (McInnis is) ready for the job,” Penry wrote.

“But before I make any decision to endorse, I want to know more about the agenda that he’s going to bring to the office. I want to know how he will govern.”

“In the coming days, after we’ve had more time to talk in a detailed way about his governing vision, I’ll have an announcement about who I am going to endorse.”

Evergreen businessman Dan Maes is the only other Republican besides McInnis running for governor at this time.

McInnis’ campaign manager, George Culpepper Jr., sent an e-mail to McInnis supporters Tuesday evening.

“Josh has opened the door enabling a renewed party unification and the opportunity to heal old wounds. It is incumbent on our campaign to walk through that door,” Culpepper wrote. “While there is neither complete agreement, nor endorsement, one thing is certain, Scott and Josh are united in the fight against Governor Ritter and his big government, anti-job policies.”


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