What’s next for McInnis? | PostIndependent.com

What’s next for McInnis?

Third District Congressman Scott McInnis shocked the state over the weekend when word leaked out that he will not seek re-election to the seat in 2004.

After McInnis shrugged off term limits criticism when he ran in 2000 for a fifth term, the state’s politicos figured he had settled in for the long haul representing western Colorado, the San Luis Valley and Pueblo in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Now the affable and hard-working Glenwood Springs native says he wants to leave Congress while he is at the top of his game. In an e-mail to family and friends, he implied that his sights are now set on a new goal, but didn’t specify.

It takes courage to let go of a sure thing and move on to the unknown and untested. But we’ve known all along that McInnis has no shortage of grit.

A former Glenwood Springs cop, lawyer and state legislator, McInnis has used his tenacious personality to protect Colorado water, shift federal fire policies and rise in the leadership ranks in Congress.

His conservative positions don’t jibe with the views of all his constituents, however, and McInnis’ departure opens the door for other candidates with moderate to liberal views to represent the district.

Already, potential candidates are rising, suggesting in vague or definite terms that they plan to run for the seat.

Meanwhile, what is McInnis planning? If it’s a run for governor, he’s taking the high road by wrapping up his congressional duties and leaving himself two years of free time to campaign.

All he has said so far is he wants to come home. His local following will certainly be interested in seeing where his career takes him next.

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