Rep. Tipton thanks Colorado sheriffs during visit to Aspen |

Rep. Tipton thanks Colorado sheriffs during visit to Aspen

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, offered words of praise to law enforcement personnel during the last day of the weeklong County Sheriffs of Colorado biannual gathering in Aspen.

“People tend to forget,” said Tipton, who is seeking re-election to his 3rd District House of Representatives seat this year. “Whenever there’s a problem, … it’s going to be our sheriff’s offices that are out there working.”

Tipton said police and deputies “don’t run from danger; they run to the danger, to be able to protect our communities.” He said one of the toughest aspects of his job is attending memorial services for fallen officers.

“How do you say ‘thank you’ for that?” he said with regard to officers losing their lives in the line of duty.

Colorado’s 3rd District, which includes Pitkin County, stretches from the Pueblo area all the way to the northwest corner of the state. Tipton has offices in Pueblo, Alamosa, Grand Junction, Durango and Washington, D.C.

He is vying with longtime Republican activist David Cox for the party nomination. The statewide GOP primary will be held June 24. Former state lawmaker Abel Tapia is the official Democratic candidate in the general election, which will be held Nov. 4.

During an interview away from the sheriff’s association conference, Tipton suggested that for now, he is not concerned about the politics of the race.

“We’ve got one philosophy, and that’s to get out and be engaged in our district, to work as hard as we can, and we’ll let the politics take care of itself. We’ve got a job to do,” he said.

He talked about recent legislation he has sponsored, including the Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act, which was signed into law last year.

The law aims to streamline the regulatory process and reduce administrative costs for small hydropower development at existing Bureau of Reclamation canals and pipes. Such man-made facilities are already on disturbed ground, and the environmental impact of adding hydropower would be minimal or nonexistent, supporters have said.

Tipton said the law is already spurring new projects and creating jobs.

“I just had an opportunity when I was down in Montrose to be able to go and look at a hydroelectric facility (built) because of this legislation,” he said.

Tipton, who was first elected in November 2010, said he is the lead sponsor of a few bills that have passed the House and await U.S. Senate approval.

One, the Planning for American Energy Act, seeks to expand domestic production of many different energy sources. Another, the Water Rights Protection Act, aims to protect Western states’ water rights from federal takings.

Tipton also is co-sponsor of legislation to address the hazardous conditions of Western forests by establishing a plan for healthy forest management to reduce the occurrence and severity of wildfires, protect watersheds and prevent the loss of life and property.

Tipton said that during his visits to communities throughout the sprawling district, he runs across the same theme. People are upset about the lack of jobs and the over-regulation of small businesses.

“People are concerned about their futures and being able to provide for their families,” he said, adding that the economic recovery since the Great Recession is the slowest rebound since the Great Depression.

“The current policies aren’t working,” Tipton said.

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