Republican Thompson in race for Salazar seat
By GARY HARMON
A second Republican is taking on Democrat John Salazar for the Colorado 3rd Congressional District seat.
Doug Thompson of Grand Junction, who said his wife, Karen, describes him as “to the right of Rush Limbaugh,” will formally announce his bid Wednesday.
Martin Beeson, the district attorney for the 9th Judicial District, was the first Republican to announce his plan to challenge Salazar, a three-term congressman from Manassa.
Thompson, 62, is retired from West Star, where he managed the company’s defense-fuels contract for 20 years.
Republicans also are preparing for 2010 primary races for governor, treasurer and U.S. Senate.
Thompson said he decided about a month ago to jump into the race because of the spending “excesses” of the Congress and administration.
Salazar, Thompson said, should be called on to explain his votes to expand the children’s health-insurance plan to cover children in families with up to $84,000 in annual income and pay for it with a 69 cent-per-pack cigarette tax.
“That means they’re going to have to recruit 22 million new smokers” to fund the program, he said.
Thompson has tried once before to gain elected office. In 1990 he ousted Republican Mesa County Commissioner Dick Pond at the county assembly, but lost in the general election to Democrat Jim Spehar.
Thompson and his wife have three grown children.
Thompson has collected commitments of $125,000 for his congressional bid, he said.