Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway will not seek the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District seat.
Conway told Windsor Now on March 2 that he thought long and hard on whether to run, but the timing wasn’t right.
“I have just been humbled by the number of people that have reached out to me and encouraged me to run in this race. The timing was just not right for me,” Conway said in a telephone interview from Washington, where he was attending the annual National Association of Counties conference. “There was no doubt that I could have put together the organization and the money. I had many meetings here in Washington over the last 48 hours. I think it was good that I came back here to Washington during this decision-making process because it really forced me to look at this thing in the total concept.”
He added, “At the end of the day, what my wife (Rebecca Koppes Conway) and I realized was that I have the best job that I could possibly have right now being a Weld County commissioner, and that I can do more in terms of accomplishing and working on the issues that I care about as a county commissioner than I could as a congressman. I know in my soul, and I know in my heart, that I made the right decision.”
Conway, 54, considered running after U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner decided to give up his House seat and challenge incumbent Mark Udall, a Democrat, in the U.S. Senate race. Once Gardner made his decision, Weld District Attorney Ken Buck of Windsor dropped out of the Senate race to run for Gardner’s seat.
State Sen. Scott Renfroe of Greeley and Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer also announced that they will challenge Buck for the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District seat. State Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling said he will not run for the vacant seat.
“I think my decision opens the race up to others,” Conway said.
Conway said he has not made a decision on whom he will endorse.
“I am not going to endorse anybody until the field gets settled,” Conway said. “There are a number of people who were putting on hold their decision-making process in deference to me, and I greatly appreciate it. Once the field is settled, I’ll be making an endorsement predicated on the issues that I’m passionate about, and that is water storage, agriculture, transportation and economic development.”
Conway added, “I met with Ken Buck on Thursday. I look forward to having a conversation with Scott Renfroe. I’m going to be engaged on behalf of the candidate that I believe will continue the great job that Rep. Cory Gardner has done on the House Energy Committee. I will be involved in this race. I will not be a candidate, but I am very committed to supporting a candidate who is going to come to Washington, D.C., and fight for the 4th Congressional District as Rep. Cory Gardner has done.”
Conway said a big part of his decision not to run was being able to fulfill his commitment as county commissioner.
“I never was able to get over the hump that in 2012 I made a commitment to the voters of Weld County to serve as their Weld County commissioner for the next four years,” Conway said. “In this day and age when people run for different offices, and I’m not saying anything bad about any current candidates in the race, there seems to be a proliferation of people who run for one office to position themselves to run for another office.
“At the end of the day, even though these are extraordinary circumstances in terms of the way this all came down, in 2012 I made a commitment to serve four years as county commissioner and I didn’t run for re-election in 2012 to run for another office.”