Penry, Josh_2Though he works for The Washington Post, politics writer Chris Cillizza broke this week’s biggest local political story: Republican state Senator Josh Penry has cleared the path for his old boss, former Congressman Scott McInnis, to take on Democratic Governor Bill Ritter without having to face a primary.

The word didn’t come from Penry himself but, rather, unnamed sources, who suggest Penry witnessed victories for Republicans in New Jersey and Virginia last week, noting they were enabled, at least partly, by a lack of competition in the primary season.

But NBC quotes a campaign source who says Penry was scared off, in part, by a political nonprofit group that was going to back McInnis. The source adds that a nasty political fight could have ruined or significantly damaged Penry’s reputation with Republicans.

Meanwhile, McInnis spokesman Josh Green confirms to the Colorado Springs Gazette that Penry met with McInnis Monday morning and announced he intended to drop out of the race.

Dick Wadhams, the state GOP chairman, thinks Penry is destined for political success down the road: “Josh clearly is one of our bright young stars, who has a lot to offer in the future.”