WALSENBURG- Republican hopeful Scott McInnis blew into Walsenburg last Friday, right in front of a gusting cold front that forced a last-minute change of venue to La Plaza Inn.
McInnis was on a whistle stop tour of Colorado, railing against what he sees as the failings of Democrat Governor Bill Ritter. “He’s a nice guy,” McInnis said of Ritter, “But he’s not a governor.”
McInnis touted his many years of service as a State Congressman for the Third District, and said he was someone who could make tough decisions.
The 800 pound gorilla in the room with McInnis was the crowd from the Piñon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition, which repeatedly tried to pin McInnis down on his pro-military stance for the region. McInnis stressed that the military was a very big economic player in Colorado, that needed to be kept happy. He also said he had heard of willing sellers around Piñon Canyon- “If there are willing sellers, then they should have that right.” McInnis also alluded that PCEOC was not the majority view in southeastern Colorado.
PCEOC attempted to deliver a box of petitions to McInnis, who set them on the ground without looking at them.
One of the most dramatic moments in the news conference was when PCEOC chairman Lon Robertson asked McInnis’s wife Lori, who comes from five generations of ranchers, what she would do if she were in their shoes. Looking stricken, Mrs. McInnis responded that she couldn’t say, she had never been in their position.