Taylor announces candidacy

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State Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, formally announced Thursday that he will seek re-election.

Taylor filed his candidacy weeks ago but said he has been far too busy to make the announcement public.

"I never quite felt there was a big rush to make a formal announcement," Taylor said from Denver on Thursday after an all-day meeting with other Colorado legislators. "I've been pretty tied up doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Plus, these campaigns are far too long and too expensive. A two- to four-month campaign should be ample, but it's just not that way anymore. There's still seven months to go."

Taylor will talk more about his candidacy at the Routt County Republicans' annual Lincoln Day Dinner at 5 p.m. Saturday at Old Town Pub and Restaurant.

Taylor has spent the past 12 years in the General Assembly, the past four in the Senate after eight years in the House of Representatives.

Taylor said he is seeking re-election because he wants to continue the work he has done in the Legislature.

"I think experience counts," Taylor said. "It's not something that's developed overnight. I hope the voters see that and provide me the opportunity to continue my efforts."

Taylor said water continues to be at the top of his list of concerns and desires to protect on the Western Slope. Also, he said he wants to continue his fight for private property rights and set higher standards for K-12 and higher education.

One of the roadblocks in the way of education funding, Taylor said, is that "Colorado is facing the biggest budget crisis since the Great Depression."

Taylor said a long-term solution to the state's fiscal woes is needed. The solution will have to come through voter initiative.

Taylor supports Rep. Scott McInnis' Healthy Forest Act to thin forests for wildfire mitigation and his Healthy Vets Act to provide veterans with more hospitals.

Taylor also wants to find a better way to promote tourism in Colorado, saying that it is "vital to our economy." His tourism promotion initiative, Amendment 33, was turned down by voters last November.

Taylor prides himself on having more than 80 percent of his legislation passed.

Taylor is chairman of both the Senate Finance Committee and the Legislative Audit Committee and vice chairman of the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee. He also is a member of the Colorado Tourism Board.

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