Former Congressman Wants More Republicans to Jump in Colorado Senate Race

Former Congressman Scott McInnis told KNUS radio host Craig Silverman Saturday that he's taking Spanish lessons and hasn't ruled out a run for statewide office, despite the spectacular crash of his 2010 gubernatorial campaign after his "musings on water" articles proved to be plagiarized.

But he doesn't see an opening for himself in the current Republican primary race to take on Democrat Michael Bennet, as he said the "alignment" isn't right today.

But McInnis, who's now a Mesa County Commissioner, isn't excited about any of the current GOP Senate candidates, saying he'd like to see Rep. Scott Tipton run. And he said failed 2008 Senate candidate Bob Schaffer would "win that race."

McInnis gave no indication that his plagiarism scandal, which torpedoed his 2010 campaign, would hurt him in future statewide campaigns.

McInnis: As you know, following that BS, and that's exactly what it was, I was caught totally off guard by those allegations. And to be  straight with you, before I ran for governor, we spent about $50,000 doing opposition research, and the opposition research was on me. And I wanted to know every hiccup somebody would bring up. Every vote we looked at. We looked at every possible thing. This never came up, because we never know about this. Well, after this broke, we didn't have time to get ahead of it, Craig. ..those allegations that there was, not perjury, but--

Silverman: Plagiarism.

McInnis: Plagiarism. That shows you how much I was involved. But it worked. It was very effective. It destroyed our opportunity. ...We suspected Hickenlooper would be their candidate and we ran consistently 12 points ahead of him.

He said the plagiarism accusation was based "false information," pointing to his "complete exoneration" by the state's Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. He was cleared of dishonest lawyer behavior but not slimy political behavior, including throwing his elderly research assistant under the bus. That's what cost him.

You wonder if McInnis really thinks he didn't commit plagiarism, in light of the fact that his name was on an article containing an unattributed excerpt from Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs.

In any case, Mesa County voters, who elected McInnis last year, don't seem to mind too much. That's got to feel good to McInnis. Maybe so good that, if no other candidates emerge, he'll jump in the race to take on Bennet after all.

Listen to McInnis' KNUS radio interview here: