Ex-congressman McInnis files to run for Colorado gov. | AspenTimes.com

Ex-congressman McInnis files to run for Colorado gov.

Colleen SlevinThe Associated PressAspen, CO Colorado
Scott McInnis

DENVER Former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis has officially entered the governor’s race, becoming the second Republican seeking to challenge Democrat Bill Ritter.McInnis, a Glenwood Springs native and now of Grand Junction, filed his candidate affidavit with the secretary of state’s office without fanfare Tuesday.He was in New York on Wednesday and not available for comment. His spokesman, Mike Hesse, said McInnis wanted to make his candidacy official to help organize people who’ve been calling and asking how they could support him. He said a campaign kickoff would be scheduled later.”They’ll be plenty of time for the balloons and the bands and all of that,” Hesse said.He said most people aren’t paying attention to a governor’s race that won’t be decided for another year and a half. He said the filing wasn’t related to allegations by Colorado Ethics Watch that he was violating state campaign finance laws by soliciting and spending campaign funds before registering as a candidate.The group on May 7 asked the secretary of state’s office to investigate, and the office is preparing a response to that request, spokesman Rich Coolidge said.Political consultant Floyd Ciruli believes McInnis felt pressure to make his candidacy official because of the criticism of his campaign activities.Ciruli said McInnis also has been criticized in the past for waffling over whether to run again for political office, including a potential run for the U.S. Senate two years ago, and he felt he had to make a statement.”This may have been too low-key, but this really says he’s going to do it,” Ciruli said.Ciruli said McInnis has name recognition and the potential to raise the millions of dollars needed for the race.McInnis still must organize a campaign committee and file the details with the secretary of state’s office before he can start raising money.Evergreen businessman Dan Maes was the first Republican to file papers to run for governor. Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, who worked as an aide to McInnis in Washington, is also considering a run.Penry credited McInnis, who served six terms in Congress, for “getting back in the fight.” Penry said he’s still weighing the best way to challenge Ritter.”After watching Bill Ritter and the Democrats overreach for the last three years, the stakes of this race couldn’t be clearer to me. It deserves serious deliberation and, if I do it, a serious plan of attack, not a shotgun approach,” Penry said.McInnis served in the state Legislature before being elected to represent the 3rd District in Congress from 1993 to 2005. He now works for Hogan & Hartson, an international law firm with offices in Denver.

Associated Press writer Steven K. Paulson contributed to this report.