Owens showed integrity by declining run for U.S. Senate | PostIndependent.com

Owens showed integrity by declining run for U.S. Senate

The race is on for politicians hungry to claim Colorado’s newly open seat in the U.S. Senate, now that the leading contender for the post has declined to run.

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens announced Tuesday he will not seek the Senate seat being vacated by two-term U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

Citing the needs of his family, Owens said he will instead finish his second term as governor, which runs through 2006.

Owens would have been hard for a Democrat to beat. But he owes an obligation to the residents of the state, as well as his family, to finish his term of office. Just a few weeks ago, he told Colorado’s newspaper editors that being the governor of Colorado is a “great job,” and one he intended to finish.

Politicians are often yearning for higher office, but it’s just plain selfish to try for the next station in the middle of a term. Owens showed his integrity by turning down the tempting offer, pressed by leaders in the state’s Republican Party, and sticking with the job to which we elected him in 2002.

Meanwhile, 2nd District Congressman Mark Udall, a Boulder Democrat, jumped into the race Tuesday, giving up the chance to be re-elected to a safe seat in Congress.

We have yet to hear whether 3rd District Congressman Scott McInnis, a Grand Junction Republican, will take on Udall.

Two other Front Range congressmen, Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo, both Republicans, are mulling the race as well.

If McInnis decides to run against Udall, it will be one of the most spectacular election races Western Slope residents could hope to see. The two highly ambitious and popular politicians hold wildly different views, and the issues near and dear to this side of the mountain ” water, energy and public lands ” would be hot topics in an entertaining campaign.

Udall is on the course. Now it’s time for a Republican or three to step forward. Let the race begin!

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