Jane Norton's forthcoming entry into the U.S. Senate campaign is meant to energize Republicans who know appointee Michael Bennet is vulnerable but can't figure out which of their foot soldiers is capable of taking him down. But at this point, anyhow, there doesn't seem to be a new face capable of improving the GOP picture when it comes to challenging Governor Bill Ritter in 2010. From the beginning, it was Scott McInnis' nomination to lose, and despite protests from McInnis spokesman Sean Duffy that his guy is the victim of a double standard, he seems to be losing it. Meanwhile, Josh Penry, McInnis' principal rival, is on the rise, as witnessed by the front-page treatment today's Denver Post gives to his criticism of Ritter's plan to close a Grand Junction nursing facility for developmentally disabled patients in a budget-cutting move.
The piece's prominent play shouldn't be interpreted as an endorsement. But it does suggest that the Post sees Penry as the only Republican in the current field capable of making a real run at Ritter. He needs to take advantage of this perception by keeping the pressure on and continuing to make news. Yes, it's still more than a year before election day -- but for McInnis, in particular, the clock is ticking.
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