Gunnison lawyer, a Republican, in District 61 race against Curry
Glenwood Springs correspondent'
Aspen, CO Colorado
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. – Incumbent State Rep. Kathleen Curry, the Independent from Gunnison, is no longer unopposed in the 2010 state legislative election.
This week, attorney Luke Korkowski of Crested Butte announced that he is running for the District 61 seat in the Colorado General Assembly.
Korkowski, a Republican who, until October 2009, was in the running to become Colorado’s newest U.S. senator, confirmed on Monday that on Feb. 12 he filed his campaign committee papers with the Secretary of State’s office.
‘Yes, the rumor is true,” he told the Post Independent, although he added that he had not planned to announce his candidacy formally until his new campaign website (www.luke2010.com) is up and running.
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Curry, 49, has served in the Colorado General Assembly since 2005. If she wins re-election in November, it will be her last two-year term because of state-imposed term limits.
Curry’s district includes the eastern portion of Garfield County, along with Pitkin, Eagle, Gunnison and Hinsdale counties.
Korkowski, 35, is a business consultant and a “transactional attorney,” which he said means “a nonpugilistic attorney” who writes contracts, facilitates business deals and other matters that do not involve litigation in a courtroom.
He has never held elective or appointive public office, he said.
Korkowski said he had planned for his website to launch on Feb. 15, but that his web designer, a resident of Frisco, found herself without electric power on Monday and had to delay the launch until later this week.
Shortly after talking with a reporter, Korkowski issued a press release stating that he “seeks to return Colorado to a sound financial footing and to bring jobs back to our state.”
Of his truncated senate race last year, Korkowski said in his press release, “I thought I was done with politics for a while, but some persistent friends convinced me that we needed solid conservative leadership right here at home.”
His general goal, he said, is to “promote conservative values, conservative principles” in the legislature, adding, “I think we need to address tax reform … to promote small business in the state.”
“The state makes it extraordinarily difficult” to start up a new business, Korkowski maintained, saying that the process needs to be “more customer friendly.”
He said he also has plans to address education reform, and to foster “a responsible energy policy” in Denver.
“We have got to promote responsible energy exploration and extraction,” he proclaimed.
Asked if he feels the state regulatory agency, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, is doing a good job of regulating the industry, he noted, “I don’t think we’re terribly friendly to the oil and gas industry.”
But, he added, the state must not “allow the industry to externalize their costs to the public,” by which he meant such effects as pollution of the region’s air and water, or destruction of what he called “wilderness” without the proper reclamation.
“We should force them to internalize all their costs, but then make it as easy as possible for them to do that,” Korkowski said.
Curry, who is in Denver while the state assembly is in session, could not be reached for comment on Korkowski’s announcement.
Another possible Republican candidate for the District 61 seat, Silt Mayor Dave Moore, said on Monday that may still get into the race.
“At this time I’m not sure if I’ll run for state representative or not,” he told the Post Independent, explaining that he wants to talk with Korkowski before making up his mind.
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