Re-elect Schwartz and Salazar | AspenTimes.com

Re-elect Schwartz and Salazar

Aspen, CO Colorado

It’s not too often that the race for the District 5 seat in the state Senate features two candidates from our own back yard, but that’s the case this election season.There’s incumbent Democrat Gail Schwartz, from Snowmass Village, and Aspen resident and Republican Bob Rankin. By virtue of the candidates’ hometowns, locals have had the chance to get to know both candidates better than they normally would.District 5 includes Aspen and the entire San Luis Valley, stretching to the Colorado-New Mexico boarder. It’s a district with vast issues, concerns and problems. Rankin seems to be a solid, honorable candidate with a strong belief in his conservative philosophy. However, we don’t believe he reflects the interests of Pitkin County residents, as evidenced by his opposition to a new-energy economy, one that Schwartz has ardently advocated during her last two years in office.During her time as District 5 senator, Schwartz, who was elected in 2006, has done nothing that compels us to vote her out of office. She has proven to be hardworking and accessible.She also continues to grow as a senator, having earned appointments to various committees, including the Senate Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee, Department of Education and the Colorado Tourism Board and Heritage Tourism Board. Schwartz has become one of the state’s most recognizable faces in the push for renewable energy; she has fought to keep Western Slope water on the Western Slope, and she held firm when the state beefed up its oil and gas regulations to bolster environmental protections. We believe Schwartz is a proven leader and deserves another term. The Aspen Times endorses Gail Schwartz as the District 5 senator, and encourages residents to vote for her in the Nov. 2 election. ••••The race for Congress in Colorado’s Third District pits incumbent Democrat John Salazar against Scott Tipton. This is a rematch of the 2006 election, which Salazar won by a wide margin. But Tipton is gaining ground this time around. Tipton, a businessman from Cortez, has the backing of several Tea Party groups, while Salazar, a three-term congressman from the San Luis Valley, has made no secret that he’s a centrist. As evidenced by the Hidden Gems debate, Salazar has shown a willingness to sit at the table with both its advocates and proponents. He’s a fiscal conservative who voted in favor of President Obama’s health care bill, and he has fought to protect the Thomas Creek Divide area from gas exploration. On Nov. 2, re-elect John Salazar to Congress.