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Menconi, focused on policy, says it’s too early to talk about political ‘horse races’

June 11, 2019, 7:19 am

Former Democratic Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi isn’t quite ready to jump into the “horse race” of the 3rd Congressional with just under 17 months to go until the general election in 2020 and around nine months until the primaries in March of next year.

Arn Menconi
Arn Menconi

“It just seems so early to think about these type of things,” Menconi told RealVail.com last week. “This a new normal I guess where people run two years in advance now.”

Menconi sought the nomination in 2018, petitioning his way onto the ballot and ultimately winding up third in the CD3 primary (8.2%) behind Karl Hanlon (27.7%) and Diane Mitsch Bush (64.1%), who went on to lose to incumbent Republican Scott Tipton by nearly 8 percentage points.

Mitsch Bush, a former Routt County commissioner and state representative for Eagle and Routt counties, has already declared she’s seeking the Democratic nomination to take on Tipton again, predicting another blue wave she can ride during the 2020 presidential race. Hanlon said he’s considering seeking the nomination again.

But Menconi, the founder of SOS Outreach who’s had a colorful history of political runs and activism, isn’t quite there yet.

“I’m just sitting back working on assisting with different peoples’ policy on the Green New Deal and bringing an action plan to it and trying to promote awareness and get reporters to cover policy rather than horse races,” Menconi said.

“That’s where my political efforts are right now is making the climate chaos top of mind for people. I’m working with one U.S. Senate candidate on his environmental policy team right now and that’s Andrew Romanoff,” Menconi added.

Working with former Colorado Speaker of the House and Mental Health Colorado President and CEO Romanoff means Menconi is not likely eyeing another run for U.S. Senate – this time against Republican incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020.

In 2016, Menconi ran on the Green Party ticket against Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (now a U.S. presidential candidate) and got 1.3% of the vote when Bennet beat Republican Darryl Glenn by a margin of 50% to 44.3%. Libertarian Lily Tang Williams got 3.6% in that election.

Asked why he’s working with Romanoff and not Vail native and former state Sen. Mike Johnston, who’s also seeking the Democratic nod to take on Gardner, Menconi said it’s all about environmental and energy policy.

“Johnston doesn’t have a climate policy plan and always plays it safe,” Menconi said. “He’s for the Jordan Cove pipeline.”

But Johnston does have a climate change plan – at least on his campaign website. Jordan Cove is controversial proposal for a natural gas pipeline that would transport gas from Colorado and other states to a planned liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal in Oregon for shipment overseas.

Romanoff sought the 2009 appointment by then Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Democrat Ken Salazar when he was named Secretary of the Interior by former President Barack Obama.

When Bennet got the nod and sought reelection in 2010, he had to beat out Romanoff in the Democratic primary and then narrowly edged Republican Rep. Ken Buck in the general.

Menconi in the past has rejected any spoiler role he might play by challenging fellow Democrats either in the party primaries or by running on another party’s ticket in the general.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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