Lieutenant governor candidate stumps | SteamboatToday.com
Dan Olsen

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Lieutenant governor candidate stumps

Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Barbara O'Brien talks with Tim Gibbs, economic development director for Craig and Moffat County, during a campaign swing through Northwest Colorado on Monday afternoon.

— A campaign swing through Northwest Colorado is the best way Barbara O’Brien, Bill Ritter’s choice for lieutenant governor, could spend the day on Monday.

Rifle, Meeker and Rangely preceded the stops in Craig and Steamboat Springs, as the large, “Ritter for Governor” bus found its way to the local bookstore.

“Election Day is coming, and it’s a long ballot,” O’Brien said. “We’re encouraging people to vote early because it’s part of being a democracy, and it’s important.”

Although polls have the democratic pair clearly in the lead to occupy the governor’s mansion, O’Brien said she is telling people to get out the vote, and to vote for them.

“Bill and I are committed to making Colorado a united state again,” she said. “Money issues and water arguments have divided the state. We will make an energy policy work for the entire state.”

Speaking to a crowd of about 25 people in the late afternoon at The Bookstore, O’Brien noted that it’s been a long time since people outside of Denver felt included in the political process to elect a governor.

She spoke briefly on schools, saying that she and Ritter supported Referendum C and they believe that community colleges benefited from the measure. And she hopes that Referendum J fails because schools should be able to decide on their own how their money is best spent.

O’Brien would like to see more support for pre-school programs, saying that that is where children learn social skills and where they learn how to learn. She called pre-school, “probably the best investment in education around.”

When asked about the increasing number of unaffiliated voters in the state, O’Brien said that while that was the fastest growing segment of Colorado voters, she remained optimistic.

“We have a mainstream message for voters, and we like where we are,” she said. “I see a great future for Colorado.”