McInnis serious about run for governor |

McInnis serious about run for governor

Dennis Webb

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Glenwood Springs native and former congressman Scott McInnis is giving serious thought to making a bid to become Colorado’s next governor.”I wouldn’t rule it out at all,” he said in a recent interview from his Denver law office. “I’ve got 22 years of experience and a lot of legislative experience, and it would be an honor, I think, to be the governor of Colorado.”Should McInnis decide to run, he likely will face a challenge from fellow Republican and fellow Western Slope resident Marc Holtzman. The president of the University of Denver has maintained a residence on Missouri Heights outside Carbondale since 1993.McInnis, who returns home to Grand Junction each weekend, has known Holtzman for years. Holtzman previously served as technology secretary to incumbent Gov. Bill Owens, who will be forced out of office by term limits at the end of 2006.”Scott and I are close friends,” Holtzman said in an interview. “If we become opponents in an election we’ll be close friends, and one of us will support the other when it’s over.”McInnis also could face another friend in U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, another Colorado Republican who may run for governor.”That happens in party politics. Bob Beauprez is a fine fellow and Marc Holtzman’s a great guy,” McInnis said. “Once in a while you luck out and run against someone you don’t like.”More often, McInnis has run against people he has had a high regard for, even when he has faced Democrats in general elections. “Frankly, I’ve had a lot of people I’ve met in public service and not a lot of them I don’t like,” McInnis said.If he seeks the governorship, he could end up running against former Denver district attorney Bill Ritter, a friend and colleague of McInnis’ at the Hogan & Hartson law firm office in downtown Denver. The Democrat also is weighing a gubernatorial bid.But the prospect of running against friends doesn’t do much to diminish McInnis’ love of running for office. “I don’t mind fund-raising at all, and I love to campaign,” he said.And he sounds like someone with an itch to run for governor. When McInnis decided to retire from Congress last year after 12 years in Washington, the reason was to come back to Colorado – not to get out of politics, he said. “Frankly, I was homesick. … I didn’t have politics out of my system at all. I’ve still got a tankful of energy, and there’s a lot of things I find of interest.”Holtzman said he worries about moving too quickly with his candidacy, which is one reason he doesn’t plan to announce his candidacy formally until February.”Most voters tire very easily of the perpetual election cycle,” he said.He’s also busy planning an Oct. 7 marriage. But he won’t be dragging his new wife, Kristen Hubbell, into an unfamiliar world when he runs for office. Hubbell is former deputy press secretary to Owens, and now is director of communications for state Attorney General John Suthers. Owens introduced Hubbell to Holtzman.Two of Holtzman’s four major campaign planks involve areas where he has been heavily involved: education and economic development. He also wants to expand affordable health care and promote “a solid conservation vision that’s supportive to the business community,” he said.Holtzman has never held elected office. But he was involved in Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1980 at the age of 20. And he ran for Congress in 1986 as a Republican, losing in what was a solidly Democratic district.Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism