Embattled McInnis vows to stay in race | VailDaily.com

Embattled McInnis vows to stay in race

Karen E. Crummy and Lynn Bartels
The Denver Post

Reza A. Marvashti, The Denver PostRepublican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis waits at a gate at Denver International Airport on Thursday. He was headed to Aspen to attend a Republican Governors Association meeting.

Despite calls for him to step aside, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis said Thursday, “I am not getting out of this.”

“They’re bullying the wrong guy. I love the fight,” he said in his first remarks to The Denver Post since the paper first reported that the “Musings on Water” articles he submitted as original works as part of a $300,000 fellowship included passages that were similar to or copied directly from a 1984 essay by now-Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs.

But after a second day of meetings, phone calls and political maneuvering, some Colorado power brokers may have different ideas. One strategy was to see McInnis through the primary against opponent Dan Maes, who has trailed McInnis in the polls and failed to garner support from the GOP establishment.

If McInnis wins the primary but looks like he won’t be a formidable threat against Democrat John Hickenlooper, then GOP leaders may try to squeeze McInnis out, according to Republicans who took part in the conversations. A vacancy committee would appoint a new candidate.

Contacted by a reporter as he waited to board a flight to Aspen to attend a Republican Governors Association meeting, McInnis was asked about rumors and reports that swirled early Thursday that he would get out of the race.

“Whoever’s got that rumor out there, they’ve got news coming,” he said. “I am not going to quit Colorado.”

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But the chorus of those asking him to do so continued to grow.

McInnis’ hometown paper, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, published an editorial urging him to end his campaign. That followed editorials in both The Denver Post and Fort Collins Coloradoan suggesting the same course of action.

State Sen. Greg Brophy, the assistant minority leader from Wray, said whoever wins the Aug. 10 GOP primary should step down or else Colorado may be one of the few states going blue in November.

“Let a vacancy committee appoint someone who can articulate the message for Republicans and not be distracted by plagiarism charges or campaign-finance problems,” Brophy said, referencing two issues that have dogged McInnis and Maes, respectively.

Maes agreed last week to pay $17,500 in fines for campaign-finance violations.

Read more at http://www.denverpost.com/ci_15528848