Legislator to run again for Salazar’s House seat

Three years ago, Scott Tipton, a Cortez Republican who was largely unknown to the 3rd Congressional District, was trounced by the Democrat incumbent, John Salazar.

That was the year Congress changed from Republican to Democrat control.

Tipton wants to even the score in 2010 and oust Salazar, who would be seeking his fourth term.

Tipton announced his official bid for Congress on Wednesday to more than 40 Republicans at El Tapatio restaurant in Fruita.

Now a state representative from Cortez, Tipton said this time around he’ll have the money and support to challenge Salazar.

It still gnaws at him that his campaign had to go dark in the last two weeks of the 2006 campaign, leaving him unable to respond to Salazar’s campaign jabs.

Republicans such as former Gov. Bill Owens, former Sen. Hank Brown and Pete Coors have promised him support this time, Tipton said. Those promises, combined with his dissatisfaction with Congress, prompted him to make a second run at Congress, Tipton said.

He said his phone was ringing Sunday from people urging him to run after the leadership-supported health-care measure passed the House on Saturday.

To compete, Tipton said he needs at least $400,000 from the 3rd Congressional District, which covers most of the Western Slope and southern Colorado.

Salazar has “done a good job of representing Washington, D.C., and standing with (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi,” making him vulnerable, Tipton said.

Salazar is “bunkered up and insulated,” as demonstrated by his support of the health care reform bill, he said

Now in his third term, Salazar is not the same junior member Tipton challenged the first time. Salazar sits now on the House Appropriations Committee, which gives him a powerful voice in deciding where federal money is spent.

Before he can take on Salazar, Tipton faces a primary battle with Ninth Judicial District Attorney Martin Beeson.

Tipton said he spoke with Beeson and told him the primary would be a respectful one.


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