White retains seat in House

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Voters returned incumbent Republican Al White to the state House of Representatives with an overwhelming victory over Democratic opponent Sam Robinson of Parachute.

White's celebration of his victory Tuesday was muted by his party's results in other statewide races. Because he ran against an opponent who did not have the financial support of his party, White felt confident in the success of his campaign. Instead, he put his efforts into campaigning for other Republicans in the state Legislature.

"It's been a frustrating night," he said Tuesday. "(Republicans) aren't doing well."

Robinson was not surprised by his defeat.

"I got into it too late," Robinson said. "I didn't have lots of money. I didn't get my signs out until pretty late, and it's an awful big district." House District 57 covers Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties.

With Election Day behind him, White will be concentrating on his bid for the majority leader position.

In an October interview with the Pilot & Today, White said he will focus on tourism funding during his next two years in office.

White plans to sponsor a bill that would generate $18 million to $25 million in permanent funding for tourism promotion. His plan would be modeled after the marketing funds charged to ranchers. Cattle owners pay a mandatory amount per head sold for slaughter, which is used to pay for campaigns such as "Beef: It's what's for dinner."

Similarly, the hotel, restaurant, transportation and ski industries would pay a fee on services sold to market Colorado as a tourist destination.

White, 54, is a resident of Winter Park. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2000 and again in 2002. He currently serves as the assistant House majority leader.

To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210 or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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