"Time For Josh Penry to Make His Move in Republican Guv-Nomination Race," a blog published about this time yesterday, noted that Penry seems to be filling the GOP vacuum that his principal rival, Scott McInnis, has left gaping thus far. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza apparently agrees, since he profiled Penry as part of "The Rising," a series about the GOP's most promising new faces. "Josh Penry's Case for Colorado," published yesterday afternoon, offers plenty of positive puff exemplified by Cillizza's opening paragraphs:
If Republicans are going to begin re-building their party, Colorado in 2010 is a good place to look for the foundational bricks to be laid.
And Josh Penry, a fast rising state legislator, might be the best bricklayer the state GOP has at the moment.
Beyond the clumsy metaphor ("he said 'laid,' heh-heh"), the piece indicates a recognition nationally that if anyone's going to knock off Bill Ritter next year, it'll be Penry, and he's eager to capitalize on this impression. In the wee hours of this morning, his campaign sent out a fundraising letter in which he noted that 24 of his fellow state legislators have formally endorsed his candidacy. That's not surprising, given Penry's leadership position, but it doesn't make seeing the names any more pleasant for McInnis.
Read the fundraising letter below:
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Successful campaigns are built on principles and ideas; but they are also built on momentum. Well, I'm pleased to report that there is growing evidence of strong momentum for our campaign in every corner of Colorado. A string of decisive victories in early straw polls among GOP activists have shown that the Party is ready for a new kind of campaign -- they're ready for a New Day.
In fact, a recent statewide survey showed that our campaign has already erased Bill Ritter's lead and an online survey by the Denver Business Journal said our campaign is the overwhelming choice of business leaders in Colorado.
And we're gaining the support of another very important group of people-our State Legislators. Our message is striking the right note across the state, which is why so many of my colleagues in the General Assembly have already come out to endorse my candidacy. Twenty-four current members of the Colorado General Assembly have come out in support at this early stage. The list of endorsements includes officials representing all parts of the state, from the Eastern Plains to the Front Range and the Western Slope (see below for a list of endorsements).
These legislators have first-hand knowledge of what the voters want. They know the people of Colorado want to restore fiscal discipline to our state, expand energy production, uphold personal freedom and encourage economic growth. I'm grateful for and humbled by their support. This is just one more example of the momentum we are building in this race.
People are hungry for real leadership in the Governor's Office. On issues from jobs and the economy to taxes, fees, and spending, and quality of life issues like education and transportation, people are looking for someone who has a plan to put Colorado back on the right track. My candidacy is about leading this great state to a new day, and moving Colorado forward. Our campaign has a compelling message -- a strong message of responsible reform -- and we are sharing it with voters all across this state. And judging by the early response, there has been great enthusiasm for our message.
Colorado deserves a leader who will fight for the state as Governor. Your donation of $1,050, $250, $100, $50 or even $25 is the first step towards a bright future. To make a secure online contribution today please click the donation button above.
Praise from Senator Penry's colleagues
"Colorado stands ready for new ideas and bold solutions. Josh Penry is ready to deliver on both. Josh brings great promise for Colorado's future." -- Senator Nancy Spence
"Sen. Penry's immense capabilities as a leader and Reaganesque views on reform make him exactly the right man for the job in this critical hour." -- Senator Mike Kopp
"I'm excited about a new young gun in Senator Penry running for governor. Josh is the only candidate that can back up his ability to make the tough budget choices with a proven voting record." -- Representative Jerry Sonnenberg
"Josh's candidacy has generated an incredible amount of energy and excitement among Republicans. He has demonstrated the kind of experience, judgement and leadership that we need to get our party and our state headed in the right direction again." -- Representative Mike May
"Josh is truly Colorado's best hope for providing innovative ideas and creative solutions to Colorado during theses difficult economic times. Josh's vision for Colorado defies partisan boundaries and will bring real leadership that is desperately need in the state." -- Representative B.J. Nikkel
Below is a full list of the current members of the Colorado General Assembly who have endorsed Sen. Penry in his bid for Governor.
Senator Greg Brophy Senator Mike Kopp Senator Nancy Spence Senator Ted Harvey Senator Mark Scheffel Senator Kevin Lundberg Senator Keith King Senator Ken Kester Senator Scott Renfroe Representative Mike May Representative Frank McNulty Representative Amy Stephens Representative Jerry Sonnenberg Representative Steve King Representative Kevin Priola Representative Laura Bradford Representative James Kerr Representative Tom Massey Representative Cheri Gerou Representative B.J. Nikkel Representative David Balmer Representative Cindy Acree Representative Ken Summers Representative Spencer Swalm