Casida still pressing the flesh, hoping to make splash in congressional race | AspenTimes.com

Casida still pressing the flesh, hoping to make splash in congressional race

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – Though her campaign for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District seat lacks the resources that her Republican and Democratic rivals enjoy, unaffiliated candidate Tisha Casida continues to press forward with a grassroots approach and a platform that squarely puts her in the role of Washington, D.C., outsider.

Casida, a Pueblo marketing consultant, has been making the rounds across the sprawling district, which covers much of the Western Slope along with southeastern and south-central Colorado. She was in Aspen last week, conducting a class on the Bill of Rights at the Pitkin County Library and engaging local voters in her quest to make a strong showing against state Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, and Republican incumbent Scott Tipton, of Cortez.

Aside from those three candidates, two others have made the Nov. 6 ballot: Gregory Gilman, a Westcliffe Libertarian, and Jaime McMillan, of Durango, who also is unaffiliated.

Casida said she hopes to improve her name recognition through a scheduled debate at 7 p.m. Saturday at Colorado Mesa University Center in Grand Junction. She was not invited to a previous debate at Alamosa State University because she was still in the process of garnering the necessary number of petition signatures to make the ballot.

Casida said an effort is under way to stage a debate in Aspen, but those plans are up in the air.

“If they did, it would be held in late September or early October, but we’re not sure if they’re going to do it or not,” she said.

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She has scheduled appearances in Vail this week before heading to Grand Junction for the debate.

She said she doesn’t expect to catch up to the front-running Tipton and Pace in terms of fundraising. As of the last campaign finance report filing on June 30, she had only raised $26,000, compared with Tipton’s $1.6 million and Pace’s $1.2 million.

“It pales in comparison, but hopefully in the next 30 days, especially with exposure from the debate and some other things we’re doing on our end, I think we’ll raise another $30,000 to $50,000, and that will help us get the exposure we need to reach more voters and have a chance of winning,” she said. “We’ll continue to pound the pavement. We’ve been working really hard, and we’ve been at it for over a year now.”

Casida said she’s getting a lot of response from voters throughout the district who are impressed with her grassroots candidacy.

“We certainly have a lot of people who like what we’re doing, and hopefully that grassroots activism makes up for some of the money we’re missing,” she said.

Casida espouses many of the ideals of the Libertarian Party. Pundits have compared her platform to that of former presidential candidate Ron Paul, a Republican U.S. House member from Texas who has created a stir on the national political scene in recent years with his libertarian views.

She added that she’s not sure whether having a Libertarian on the ballot will affect her candidacy.

“I think it all depends on how we do in the next 50 to 60 days,” she said.

For more information about Casida, visit http://casida2012.com.

asalvail@aspentimes.com