No Senate run for Curry | AspenTimes.com

No Senate run for Curry

Dennis WebbGlenwood Springs correspondent

After considering a bid for higher office, state Rep. Kathleen Curry plans to run for re-election instead.Curry, D-Gunnison, also said she’s glad she won’t be running against her office’s former occupant, Republican Gregg Rippy, of Glenwood Springs, for the job.Curry, a freshman state lawmaker, said Senate Democrats asked her to consider running for the Senate seat Republican Lew Entz now holds.”They thought it would be a good way to hold on to the majority there,” Curry said.But Curry eventually said no to the idea.”I thought about it long and hard … but I decided I really liked it right where I am at,” she said.Curry is a member of the majority party in the House. As a brand-new lawmaker she was named chairwoman of the Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee, where she can hold much sway over issues of interest to her district.Curry’s District 61 includes eastern Garfield County. She has been heavily involved in issues such as water and natural gas drilling.Entz represents Senate District 6, which doesn’t include Garfield County but shares adjacent Pitkin County with Curry’s House district.Curry said District 6 has more Democrats than Republicans, which is why Democrats are hoping to unseat Entz.But Curry said she likes her House committee chairmanship, and wants to take advantage of it as she continues to pursue water and energy issues.”The better I get at it, the more I can do for the district. I feel like I’m not done yet,” she said. “I think I can do some good work as I continue to figure the job out.”Curry also can plan to seek re-election without having to face what would be a considerable challenge from Rippy. Last year he made what turned out to be an unsuccessful run to become the Republican candidate for Congress. Curry defeated Republican Becky Rippy, the wife of Gregg Rippy’s cousin, in the race to replace him in the state House. Libertarian Dale Reed of No Name also sought the seat.Rippy said in a recent interview that he has “zero plans” to run for the state Legislature. He said if Curry didn’t seek re-election he would have to reassess things. As of late October, he still had an active campaign committee on record with the Secretary of State’s Office.Curry said she and Rippy appeared at Western State College this fall to campaign for Referendums C and D, and Rippy told listeners then that he didn’t plan to run against her.”I was happy to hear that, because I think Gregg’s a really strong candidate. He has a lot of experience, and he hopefully will get back into something [political],” she said.She speculated that Rippy might run for the seat now held by his fellow Republican, state Sen. Jack Taylor, of Steamboat Springs. Taylor will be forced out by term limits in three more years.”I think he’s got a good future,” Curry said of Rippy. “Hopefully he’ll run for public office again. I just don’t want him to run for this seat.”Had he run, she said, the race would have pitted a conservative Democrat against a moderate Republican.”We don’t really have that much daylight between us,” she said.