Tipton coasts to primary victory; will face Schwartz | AspenTimes.com

Tipton coasts to primary victory; will face Schwartz

Randy Essex
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton easily brushed aside a Republican primary election challenge for the nomination to his Colorado 3rd District seat in Congress.

Results Tuesday with 14 of the district's 29 counties reporting, showed Tipton with 79 percent of the vote over 28-year-old Carbondale resident Alex Beinstein.

He will face Democrat Gail Schwartz in the November election, a former state senator and former regent for the University of Colorado, her alma mater.

"Congressman Tipton appreciates the continued support of Republicans in the 3rd Congressional District," said campaign staffer Michael Fortney. "He looks forward to the general election and his race against the detached, anti-job, anti-energy, liberal elite Gail Schwartz."

Beinstein was a political newcomer who raised less than $10,000 in his bid to unseat a three-term U.S. House incumbent who had $762,000 on hand at the end of the spring campaign finance reporting period.

Tipton ignored Beinstein, who campaigned on the need for the United States to put Saudi Arabia on the list of state sponsors of terrorism and a "philosophy of compassionate constitutionalism."

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"I'm proud of our campaign," Beinstein said Tuesday evening. "Every single thing I said I believe with every single bone in my body."

He said he expects to seek office again but isn't sure when.

Beinstein got onto the primary ballot by winning 40 percent of the delegates at the 3rd District GOP assembly in early April.

Tipton had turned his attention to Schwartz in May, criticizing her on his campaign website, VoteTipton.com.

"Gail Schwartz has destroyed communities in Colorado and now wants to represent them in Congress.

"In both direct high-paying mining jobs and indirect jobs and small businesses, Gail Schwartz's leadership in the state Capitol has cost rural Colorado," the site says, criticizing her support for increasing the proportion of energy coming from renewable sources required of rural electric cooperatives.

"Gail Schwartz has left rural Colorado behind to make sure she is invited to all the important Aspen cocktail parties."

Schwartz, who has moved to Crested Butte, lived in Aspen from the early 1970s until leaving the Legislature last year.

Unlike Beinstein, she will be well-financed. She raised more than $350,000 in the spring reporting period compared with Tipton's $182,000, though he added that amount to a much fatter war chest and has more money on hand than Schwartz.

Schwartz, who walked in Glenwood Springs' Strawberry Days parade earlier this month to greet potential voters, argues that Tipton isn't listening to communities in the sprawling district, which includes the western third of Colorado and stretches south to Pueblo.

She termed a draft bill he circulated on a Thompson Divide natural gas lease swap "unethical" because much of the wording came from SG Interests, which is Tipton's largest campaign donor when employees are factored in.

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