Senate candidate Norton sounds budget-cutting theme

U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton stops to talk to Sen. Josh Penry and Penry’s three-year-old daughter Emme at Two Rivers Winery, in this January file photo.

Nothing is off the table when it comes to cutting federal spending, former Colorado Lt. Gov. Jane Norton said during a campaign stop Saturday in Grand Junction.

Speaking to about 130 people at Two Rivers Winery on the Redlands, Norton said big spenders in both parties are under pressure now.

Voters “do not want the kind of big government spending that we’re seeing,” said Norton, a Republican and Grand Junction native who collected the endorsement Saturday of another Grand Junction native and Republican, state Sen. Josh Penry.

The victory in Massachusetts of Republican Scott Brown last week was the reaction of voters to a series of spending measures — the $787 billion stimulus, proposed cap-and-trade legislation for emissions, and health care legislation — that Norton said would put one-sixth of the nation’s economy under government control.

Norton is hoping to capture the GOP nomination for the seat held by Democrat Michael Bennet.

Bennet voted in the Senate for the health care package that now awaits the determination of its fate after the Brown election on Tuesday. Bennet will “pay dearly” in Colorado for that vote, Penry said.

Norton and Bennet face opposition within their own parties. Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and former state Sen. Tom Wiens are mounting their own bids for the GOP nomination. Former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff is challenging Bennet on the Democrat side.

Democrats have criticized Norton for saying elsewhere that the federal Department of Education could be eliminated.

“Even President Obama said that nothing is off the table” as the country’s leaders look for spending cuts, Norton said in an interview.

One thing the country should not do is boost taxes, Norton said, adding, “We have to increase revenue buy lowering taxes.”

Norton also is endorsed by former Gov. Bill Owens, who tapped her for the lieutenant governor post, and former U.S. senators Hank Brown and Bill Armstrong.


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