Penry Cooks His Goose

In the last days of the Republican primary for Senate District 7 between Matt Smith and Josh Penry, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel editorial opinion may have shifted away from their “favorite son,” Penry.

Seems that Penry, upset with a reporter’s rendition of candidate profiles, made some “off the record” comments to the reporter that upset George Orbanek, publisher of the Daily Sentinel. In fact, it sounds like Penry’s tirades may have cost him any future support.From the Orbanek’s column last Sunday:

“…Because Penry prefaced some of his more candid remarks in his telephone conversation with Saccone (the reporter who wrote the story) as “off the record,” I’m duty-bound not to report any of that here, even though doing so would be of highly instructive value to the few GOP voters still undecided how to mark their ballots Tuesday. I made clear to Penry, however, that his private remarks to Saccone served the purpose of casting Penry, at least to me, in a markedly different light than I previously perceived him. Enough said….”

Orbanek later ended his column with this: “…After learning something entirely new about Penry last week, I’m not completely certain that this newspaper’s editorial board would make the same editorial recommendation about Penry today that we made two years ago.”

Earlier last week, managing editor Dennis Herzog, was presumed to have been pressured from the Penry camp and Mesa State President, Tim Foster to remove a blogging comment that quoted Foster’s response to the article. By Friday, Herzog had put the blog piece back up, denying any pressure was made. Putting an editor on the defensive is not exactly a good campaign plan.

Maybe Penry will win the SD 7 race against Matt Smith, but his “golden boy” position could be forever tarnished at the Daily Sentinel. An opportunity that would be equal to “when pigs fly” for Mesa County Democrats.

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