White endorses Rippy for 3rd District

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— State Rep. Al White has thrown his support to one of the candidates in the crowded field of Republicans vying for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District seat.

The Winter Park Republican stopped in Steamboat Springs on Thursday afternoon to endorse GOP candidate and fellow legislator Gregg Rippy.

Rippy, who joined White at the brief press conference outside the Steamboat Springs Community Center, is a state representative from Glenwood Springs. He faces fellow Republicans Greg Walcher, state Rep. Matt Smith, Pueblo County Sheriff Dan Corsentino and commercial pilot and naval reservist Matt Aljanich in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis. Tuesday's primary election will determine which of the candidates faces Democrat John Salazar in November's general election.

White, whom Rippy described as a "good friend and colleague," said Rippy is the best choice for Northwest Colorado voters who want their needs and issues represented in Congress.

"I know all the candidates on both sides of the aisle," White said. "I understand the kind of people they are and the needs of this area. I recommend Gregg head and shoulders above all the others."

Rippy, a construction company owner who was born and raised in Glenwood Springs, said his experience as a small businessman gives him unique insight into job creation and economic development, particularly in rural areas.

At Thursday's press conference, he said job creation in the 3rd Congressional District has been "woefully under-discussed" by his fellow candidates. Rural Colorado needs to take advantage of federal programs that provide boosts for small businesses, such as a U.S. Department of Agriculture rural economic development program and $10 million in federal grant monies available to bring the Internet to rural communities.

Rippy said he'll work hard to make sure Coloradans know what resources are available to them and how those resources can boost the local economy.

During his visit, Rippy also discussed wildlife and sportsmen issues, particularly wolf reintroduction. Rippy, who didn't support lynx reintroduction, said he'll push hard to make wolves a game species. Doing so will allow humans to control wolf populations and farmers and ranchers to receive compensation for any animals lost to the predators.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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