Some pols question Bennet’s stance on Western Slope issues

For the Western Slope, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet, the governor’s choice to replace outgoing U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., is an unknown.

“Where is he on water issues? … Where is he on oil shale?” said state Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction. “He’s never been forced to wrestle with those questions. ... It’s a giant question mark hanging out there.”

Bernie Buescher, a two-term Democratic state lawmaker, said Bennet is “spectacularly intelligent,” but his views on the issues that matter most to the Western Slope are unknown.

“I don’t have much comment,” Buescher said.

State Sen. Jim Isgar, D-Hesperus, said because the governor’s appointee is such an unknown on Western Slope issues, particularly water, he hopes Bennet will rely on his peers’ advice, especially that of Congressman John Salazar, D-Colo.

After all, Isgar said, compared to Ken Salazar, who headed the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Bennet is an unknown on rural issues.


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