Scott McInnis: No "wink and a nod or a bait and switch" on continuing campaign after primary

Update below: The Scott McInnis campaign's August 6 release about his primary night "victory party" (see it below) listed its date as August 12 -- two nights after tomorrow's primary. When asked about that, McInnis spokesman Sean Duffy jokes, "I hope it said Tuesday. Either that, or we're the world's worst procrastinators." In other words, the date botch isn't an indication of over-confidence -- although Duffy's upbeat about his guy's chances.

"Scott is one of the best retail politicians going," he says. "He's been out in communities largely on the Western Slope the past couple of days -- but really, he's been all over the place, shaking hands, talking to people, answering questions. And largely, the focus has been, 'What are you going to do about jobs and the economy?'"

And not on McInnis's plagiarism problems? Or his pledge to return $300,000 paid to him by the Hasan Family Foundation for his "musings on water" -- some of which were lifted directly from writings by a Colorado Supreme Court justice?

"As people looked at those issues, they began to get their questions answered -- and fundraising picked up," Duffy says.

Of course, it couldn't have hurt that McInnis's primary rival, Dan Maes, made several statements that spurred incredulity -- including his insinuation that Denver's B-cycle program was a nefarious United Nations plot.

"I think the lighthouse has turned a little toward our opponent," Duffy allows, "and that level of scrutiny is always challenging. I think he's feeling what that scrutiny is like. But we'll let the Republican voters make their own decisions and determinations as to the quality of his remarks and responses."

In the meantime, the McInnis camp is completing what Duffy characterizes as "a three-track deal" when it comes to voter turnout. "You start with folks to get them to mail in their ballots. Then you chase the folks who haven't. And then you remind them over the weekend and today, 'Don't mail your ballots. Go drop them off.' And for Weld and El Paso counties, and some of the bigger counties with polling places, you're trying to help people go vote."

This last effort could be impacted by the perception that whoever wins the Republican gubernatorial primary might step down to allow party bosses to pick a more viable candidate to face off against John Hickenlooper in November -- a notion most identified with state senator Greg Brophy. But Duffy doesn't think the concept will prevent anyone from participating.

"People ask him about that, and he looks them in the eye and says, 'I'm not going anyplace.' His view is, you're asking people for their votes. You don't want to do it with a wink and a nod or a bait and switch. He has been quite clear that if you check the box for Scott McInnis on Tuesday, his intention is, that's the guy you're going to get in November."

And Duffy believes Democrats are fearful of that prospect.

"We found it interesting that the Democrats decided to launch an ad buy to play during the Republican primary," he says. "And that certainly spoke a little bit, at least in the sense that they were trying to affect the Republican race. There was the idea that McInnis was dead in the water, but that's an awful lot of money to poke at what would be perceived as a dead fish.

"Obviously, they believe this guy has a lot of life left."

Here's the aforementioned McInnis release. The basic information is correct with the exception of the date. The party takes place on August 10:


The Scott McInnis for Governor Campaign will hold its August 12 Primary Night Victory Party at The Stampede, on 2430 South Havana Street, in Aurora.

The event begins at 6:30 pm. Credentialed media can access to the facilities starting at 3:00 pm for preview stories and live shots as desired. There will be an area reserved for live trucks clearly marked near the entrance.

Please contact the campaign with specific questions or concerns.

Your coverage is invited.

Update: Today, Westword conducted primary-eve interviews with spokespersons for all six major candidates being tested tomorrow. Click to read posts about Andrew Romanoff, Michael Bennet, Ken Buck, Dan Maes and Jane Norton.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts