Steamboat Springs Scott Tipton is happy to be flying solo.
The Cortez Republican, running for Congress against incumbent Democrat John Salazar of Manassa, received strong support for his candidacy at the state Republican assembly last month in Colorado Springs. That support ensured that he will not face an opponent in the August primary and can instead focus on the general election in November.
What: Barbecue picnic to raise funds for Scott Tipton, Republican candidate for Congress
Where: Bald Eagle Lake, 0.4 miles past the Holiday Inn on the west side of U.S. Highway 40
When: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday
Cost: Suggested donations are $50 per family, $20 per adult, $10 for children ages 6 to 15 and free for children younger than six
Call: Call Brett Mock at(970) 208-3362, or e-mail email@example.com
Tipton is campaigning in Steamboat Springs this weekend and is hosting a fundraising barbecue Sunday afternoon at Bald Eagle Lake.
In summer 2004, several Republicans from the 3rd Congressional District squared off in a contentious, divisive primary that drained campaign coffers and ran through August.
"Our primary really didn't end until the first of September," Tipton said Friday, recalling a vote-count dispute between candidates Greg Walcher and Matt Smith, who were separated by only a few hundred votes after the primary. Walcher eked out a victory over Smith before losing to Salazar in November. That loss may not have occurred, Tipton said, if the primary hadn't cost Walcher valuable campaign time and money.
"This time we aren't going to have to worry about that," said Tipton, who received nominations last month from Walcher, Smith and former candidate Greg Rippy. "I'm very happy to see a united Republican party."
United, at least, in the 3rd district, which includes 29 counties across Western Colorado, including Routt County. Statewide, the Republican party is involved in pending court action spurred by Marc Holtzman, a former University of Denver president who has campaigned for governor since last summer but has so far failed to get on the August ballot, where he hopes to challenge U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez of Arvada.
Holtzman is contesting a ruling by Secretary of State Gigi Dennis, who said earlier this month that Holtzman does not have enough valid signatures to petition onto the primary ballot. Holtzman was forced to petition after failing to get enough votes from delegates at last month's state assembly.
Although prominent Repub-
licans, including Gov. Bill Owens and state party chairman Bob Martinez have asked Holtzman to withdraw his candidacy, Tipton said he is neutral on the issue.
"I'm not taking a side on it," Tipton said Friday. "We have our race, and we have people from both camps supporting us. We're focused on taking back the 3rd Congressional District."
Tipton, who has owned a Native American arts business in Cortez for 26 years, said he was in Durango on Thursday night and will be in Grand Junction this morning before coming to Steamboat.
The campaigning is occurring while Salazar works in Congress in Washington, D.C.
"That's certainly an advantage for us," Tipton said.
-- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org