Gubernatorial hopeful Scott McInnis delivered a message of fiscal discipline and promised to bring jobs to Colorado during a recent local visit. The …
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Gubernatorial hopeful Scott McInnis delivered a message of
fiscal discipline and promised to bring jobs to Colorado during a
recent local visit.
The Republican and former six-term U.S. Representative from
Colorado’s 3rd Congressional district addressed a roomful of about
60 people at the Littleton Rotary Club meeting Feb. 16 at the
Columbine Country Club.
“Our leaders took us down the wrong path,” he said, criticizing
the current administration’s tough regulations on energy and
natural gas companies. “We need a change that understands the
importance of a job.”
McInnis blasted Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter for what he said
were thousands of energy and military job losses to other states
because of too-strict environmental and other regulations.
“Those energy jobs are critical and we’ve lost them by the tens
of thousands,” McInnis said after the meeting. “If we bring our
rules and regulations back into balance, back into a consensus area
where people say, ‘hey it’s fair,’ we protect our environment and
on the other hand we enhance our job opportunities.”
McInnis, 56, is considered the Republican front runner in the
race for governor. He will face newcomer Dan Maes in the Republican
primary. The winner will take on sole Democratic candidate Denver
Mayor John Hickenlooper in November. Ritter announced last month
that he will not seek re-election.
After serving five terms in the Colorado State House of
Representatives and 12 years as a Colorado representative in
Congress, McInnis stepped away from politics in 2005. The Glenwood
Springs native decided to enter the 2010 governor race when he
began to see his friends lose their jobs.
“A lot of our friends are blue collar workers so that was a
driving fact,” he said.
McInnis, whose family history dates back to the Colorado
pioneers of the 1870s, emphasized his rural, blue collar roots to
the audience. Wearing cowboy boots, he related a story of how he
and his siblings received piggy banks on their fifth birthdays, an
early attempt by their parents to teach them financial
responsibility. His wife’s family comes from a long line of Western
A former police officer and volunteer firefighter, McInnis is
also a lawyer, a point he did not mention to those gathered.
McInnis said state government must partner with businesses, and
reduce regulations and taxes to help create jobs. Balancing
Colorado’s budget and reducing spending are also high on his
“The state’s going to have to reduce its fiscal spending and
tighten its belt in regard to taxes that are killing jobs,” he
If elected, McInnis said his first order of business will be to
issue an executive order repealing Ritter’s executive order to let
all state employees unionize.
“The unions weren’t asking for it to the best of our knowledge.
Certainly the workers weren’t asking for it and it’s caused a lot
of, in my opinion, disorder in the market process,” McInnis said.
“We don’t need that. We have good relationships with our state
employees… It’s not necessary. We’ll get rid of it.”
Despite the fact that McInnis now lives in Grand Junction — a
city the U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier this month had
the largest percentage drop in jobs out of 372 metropolitan areas
in the country in December 2009, compared with a year earlier —
McInnis said he’s hopeful about the future of Colorado.
“Help is on the way,” he said. “I feel very optimistic about the
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