Penry to Exit Governors Race

The Washington Post blog, The Fix is reporting that republican candidate for Colorado Governor, Josh Penry will leave he race, clearing the way for former congressman Scott McInnis to challenge incumbent Bill Ritter in 2010.

More from The Fix

Penry’s decision to opt out of the race is a stunner as many national Republicans had touted him as a potential rising star (and we had featured him in our “Rising” series that looks at up and coming politicians).

CO Senate Minority Leader and former gubernatorial candidate, Josh Penry (R-Grand Junction)

Political chatter in the immediate aftermath of Penry’s decision suggested he might be considering a run against 3rd district Rep. John Salazar (D) who won the Western Slope seat when McInnis retired in 2004. Salazar’s seat is one of 49 held by Democrats that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried in 2008. (McCain won it 50 percent to 48 percent for President Barack Obama.) But, Republicans already have a candidate — state Rep. Scott Tipton — they are high on in the race.

McInnis, who spent six terms in Congress, now has a clear shot at Gov. Bill Ritter (D) next fall. Democrats have expressed serious concern about Ritter’s electoral prospects and his poll numbers have lagged badly since he was elected in a landslide in 2006.

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