US Senator-elect Cory Gardner visits Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

US Senator-elect Cory Gardner visits Steamboat

Cory Gardner

— During his first appearance in Steamboat Springs since the Nov. 4 election, U.S. Senator-elect Cory Gardner spoke about his candidacy and his plans for when in office.

Gardner addressed more than 100 people who gathered at the Strings Music Pavilion on Thursday night for a holiday party hosted by The Steamboat Institute. He also stayed around after his speech to met individually with attendees.

"It's an honor to be your next U.S. senator from Colorado," Gardner said.

Garner represented District 63 in the Colorado House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011 before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 and re-elected in 2012. In November, he ran for U.S. Senate, defeating incumbent Mark Udall by a 3 percent margin.

"I was humbled and honored by those results," Gardner said. "Now, the hard work has truly begun."

Gardner spoke several times about his desire for North America to support its own energy needs.

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"We are close to becoming North American energy independent," Gardner said. "Imagine a nation of energy independence."

In addition to energy goals, Gardner said he was eager to work on legislation that focused on the economy, education and the environment.

He twice mentioned his desire to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, saying it was time to go to work to fix "a broken Washington."

He also supports the next phases of the Keystone XL Pipeline and said he wants to keep Congress out of classrooms.

"The American people have endured years of gridlock," Gardner said. "I ran for the Senate because I have hope for America."

Those in attendance Thursday gave Gardner standing ovations before and after his speech.

"He's saying all the right things. He's saying what I believe in," Steamboat resident David Ancelin said after Gardner's speech. "I'll watch him in the future to see if he lives up to it."

Gardner promised to advocate for Coloradans in all four corners of the state.

"We have to have someone who will be a tireless warrior," Gardner said after his speech. "To the people of Steamboat Springs, I look forward to being here often and getting in every nook and cranny of Colorado."

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow