Candidate Sal Pace speaks in Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com

Candidate Sal Pace speaks in Steamboat Springs

House Minority Leader to oppose Rep. Scott Tipton

Jack Weinstein





Sal Pace, Democratic challenger for the U.S. Congress in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, spoke to a crowd at Ciao Gelato on Wednesday afternoon. Pace, who is the current democratic minority leader in the Colorado House of Representatives, is hoping to top U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, a republican from Cortez, in the November 2012 election.
John F. Russell

Sal Pace, Democratic challenger for the U.S. Congress in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, spoke to a crowd of supporters at Ciao Gelato on Wednesday afternoon. John F. Russell

— State Rep. Sal Pace wants to return the U.S. House of Representatives' 3rd Congressional District seat to the Democrats.

To do that, the state House Minority Leader told a group of about 25 people Wednesday afternoon at Ciao Gelato in downtown Steamboat Springs that he would work to solve the country's economic problems by putting people back to work.

Pace, a Pueblo Democrat who represents House District 46, said that includes creating green jobs, funding infrastructure projects, increasing broadband capability, promoting small business and investing in education. Pace said he would be willing to work with Republicans and against Democrats to fight for what was in the best interest of Colorado and the rest of the country.

"It's an approach focused on finding practical solutions instead of scoring partisan political points," he said.

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Pace, 34, a second-term state representative, said that's not the approach taken by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican from Cortez. Pace hopes to unseat Tipton in the 2012 election.

Tipton, who was en route to Steamboat on Wednesday afternoon to speak at the Colorado Water Congress at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort, couldn't be reached for comment.

Richard Schoenradt, a spokesman for Tipton, said the congressman hasn't yet hired campaign staff.

"He's just focusing on the task at hand," Schoenradt said.

Pace, also in Steamboat for the Colorado Water Congress, said Wednesday's gathering was just the first of many he has planned for the Western Slope and Steamboat.

Routt County Democratic Party Chairwoman Catherine Carson said she met Pace when he worked for former U.S. Rep. John Salazar, who was unseated by Tipton last year after serving for three terms.

Pace previously served as an aide to Salazar.

"He's been serving the citizens of Colorado for many years," Carson said about Pace. "It's exciting he wants to continue serving them in Washington."

Pace has a bachelor's degree in political science from Fort Lewis College and a master's degree in American political theory from Louisiana State University. He and his wife, Marlene Valdez Pace, have two children and are expecting a third.

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com

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