McInnis wont run for Senate
GLENWOOD SPRINGS The prospect that it could have been a 14-year commitment contributed to a decision by Glenwood Springs native Scott McInnis not to run for the U.S. Senate, he said Wednesday.McInnis said in a telephone interview that family considerations also played a major role in the decision, which he announced Wednesday.McInnis had been considered a leading Republican contender for the U.S. Senate seat that fellow Republican Wayne Allard will be retiring from at the end of next year. U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, Eagle Countys Democratic congressman, is expected to run. One factor in the 53-year-olds decision was how many years of his life Senate service might have consumed. A two-year campaign, if successful, would have led to a six-year term. But McInnis said that in talking to people around the state he realized one term would not have been enough, and he would have owed it to Coloradans to seek re-election.In your second term is where you really get momentum and can serve your state better, he said.McInnis had formed a Senate campaign exploratory committee last month. He said he had spent the last 40 days or so traveling the state and making hundreds of phone calls before coming to a decision.In 2003, when McInnis opted against running for re-election to the U.S. House, he talked about his desire to return to living full-time in Colorado. He said he and his wife, Lori, enjoy spending time with their parents in western Colorado.McInnis treasures going on Saturday drives with his parents. There are those moments that you think about a little more when you start to think about a campaign, he said. It doesnt take much convincing to say, Gosh, why would you want to move out of Colorado? And of course I dont.The prospect of a race against Udall was not a deterrent, he said. Even though he never became an official Senate candidate, McInnis already had been coming into early criticism on everything from his lobbying for EnCana Oil & Gas USA to paying his wife with campaign funds after he had decided against running for re-election to the House. The Federal Elections Commission had dismissed a complaint filed by Democrats over those payments. McInnis said such criticism was to be expected, and also didnt play into his decision against running for office.Theyd come after me for something, whether its (being a) lawyer or lobbyist or being a combination of lawyer-lobbyist, he said.He is looking forward to continuing to be involved in water, energy and other rural Colorado issues of interest to him through his role as an attorney with the prominent Denver law firm, Hogan & Hartson.A former Glenwood policeman, McInnis was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1982 by 12 votes 13 after a recount. He rose to the position of House majority leader before winning election to Congress in 1992. He served six two-year terms in Congress.