Sen. Entz looks forward to challenge from Schwartz |

Sen. Entz looks forward to challenge from Schwartz

John Colson
Sen. Lewis H. Entz, incumbent in the 5th District, which includes Pitkin County.

Lewis H. Entz, the incumbent Colorado state senator who represents Pitkin County, said he welcomes the challenge of a race with Snowmass Village resident Gail Schwartz.”She’d be a good one,” Entz said Thursday. “I’d love to have her run against me.”Entz, who calls himself “74 years young,” has been in public service for more than three decades. He has represented Senate District 5 since 2001. He was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Sen. GiGi Dennis, whom President George W. Bush named state director of rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Entz, a farmer from the southern part of the San Luis Valley, was re-elected to the post in 2002.

“This’ll make my 15th election,” Entz said. He started as an Alamosa County commissioner from 1968 through 1982. In 1982, he won election to the Colorado House of Representatives, where he served “until I was turned out in ’98.”He then served on the Colorado Water Conservation Board until he was picked to fill the District 5 Senate seat.A Colorado native, Entz owns a 1,600-acre farm in the San Luis Valley that his son has run since 1980. They raise barley for Coors beer, and potatoes.He is serving on two Senate committees – the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee; and the Local Government Committee. He said he was chairman of several committees while in the House, too.District 5, which was redrawn as part of the Republican redistricting effort in 2002, encompasses Pitkin County but not the rest of the Roaring Fork Valley.

The district represents 11 counties – Alamosa, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mineral, Pitkin, Rio Grande and Saguache.Entz said he has come to Aspen to conduct get-togethers with constituents, but without much success.”I get over there and I have town meetings and nobody shows up,” he said. “Go figure that out. I just wonder why people do not want to find out what their senators are doing, ask them questions.”At other towns and cities around the 11-county district, “I get a good turnout,” he said, specifically in Delta, Gunnison, Salida and Alamosa.

But he said that once he makes a formal announcement of his re-election campaign in a couple of weeks, he will be coming back to Pitkin County.”I represent everybody in the district, I don’t care what their politics are,” he said.John Colson’s e-mail address is

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