Ex-Grand Junction man to run for U.S. Senate
In what sounds like a reprise of the race between two Grand Junction Republicans running for governor, a former Grand Junction resident is gearing up to run against a Grand Junction native for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Tom Wiens, a former broadcaster in Grand Junction and now a southwest Douglas County rancher, filed papers as a candidate for the Senate seat now held by Democrat Michael Bennet.
That puts him on a collision course with Jane Norton, a former lieutenant governor and Grand Junction native, who also wants to run for the U.S. Senate seat.
Former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, a Grand Junction resident, and state Sen. Josh Penry, the Senate minority leader, meanwhile, are vying for the opportunity to run against Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat running for his second term.
Wiens, a former board member for Club 20, was the 29-year-old GOP candidate against incumbent Democrat Ray Kogovsek in the 3rd Congressional District in 1982.
He sold his radio station, KSTR, when he no longer could rely on air transportation to get him in and out of Grand Junction, and had to move.
He was able to sell the station, but otherwise lost everything in the oil shale bust, he said.
Wiens served in the Colorado House and Senate and had set up an exploratory committee for the U.S. Senate.
He decided to run for the post to take on the spending of President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress, he said.
“They don’t even respect us enough to read the bill before they waste our money,” he said.
Wiens will put together a statewide announcement tour later this year, he said.
The crowded Senate race also includes Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck on the Republican side. Andrew Romanoff, the former speaker of the Colorado House, is challenging Bennet on the Democrat side, as well.