Snowmass woman runs for state Senate | AspenTimes.com
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Snowmass woman runs for state Senate

John Colson
2005 Regent Group photo
University of Colorado/Boulder | Photography Office

A Snowmass Village resident plans to run for the state Senate.Gail Sheridan Schwartz on Wednesday announced her plans to challenge incumbent Sen. Lewis H. Entz, a Republican farmer from the San Luis Valley, to represent Senate District 5.The district comprises 11 counties, from Delta County in the west to Saguache County in the east, and from the northern Pitkin County line to the southern border of Colorado.Schwartz, 56, a Democrat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents, scored a political upset by unseating a Republican incumbent to win the CU regents seat in 2000.

She made her decision to seek the Senate seat recently, after Colorado Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, whose District 61 also includes Pitkin County, decided against running for Senate.”We’re thrilled Gail is running,” said Camilla Auger, chairwoman of the Pitkin County Democratic Party. “She’s going to make a terrific state senator.” Auger said Curry “specifically requested that Gail run” after deciding to stay in the state House of Representatives.Schwartz said she will not be seeking re-election to the board of regents.”I’m very excited about this,” Schwartz said by phone Wednesday from Boulder.

“I’ve decided to run for state Senate in order to better serve my constituents and champion the causes most important to rural Colorado, including K-20 education,” she said. “Because of its extraordinary diversity, the 5th District needs a senator with unusual energy and wide-ranging experience at the state Capitol.”Schwartz is a leading advocate for education and rural economic development. “I will fight to protect the environment we have been so blessed with,” she said. “I will fight to keep our water on the land and in our streams. I will work to ensure that neither our crops nor our communities whither on the vine by vigorously opposing water speculation and further diversions to the Front Range urban areas.”I would never support putting a water grab like Referendum A on the ballot,” she said, referring to a defeated statewide referendum in the 2003 election.”I look forward to meeting the people of each community in the district and hearing directly about the issues that concern them most.”

Among her accomplishments on the CU Board of Regents, Schwartz lists the controversial reform of the university’s troubled athletic department and the administrative oversight of that department. The reform led to appointments of a new university president, chancellor, athletic director and football coach.Born and raised in Chicago, Schwartz has lived in Colorado since 1967. She lives in Snowmass Village with her husband of 23 years, Alan E. Schwartz, a partner with the law firm of Hogan & Hartson.The couple has three daughters, Brendan Ash, Aime and Rachel, and Schwartz holds a business degree in marketing from the University of Colorado.Attempts to contact Entz were unsuccessful Wednesday.John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com


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