After emerging as the lone victor for a spot on the August Democratic primary ballot, 3rd Congressional District candidate John Salazar says he's taking nothing for granted.
The first-term state representative from Manassa, who took 70 percent of the delegate votes at last month's convention in Pueblo, stopped in Craig on Sunday as part of a 29-county tour of the sprawling district, which encompasses much of the Western Slope.
The strong showing at the state assembly only means "we don't have to spend as much for the primary," Salazar said.
"But we can't be complacent. We've got to know the entire district," he said.
About a dozen Democratic supporters turned out to greet Salazar, many of whom he had met earlier this year during a campaign stop a local restaurant during a snowstorm.
Lee Williamson of Craig was among those seeking a second dose of Salazar's campaign pledges to protect Colorado's water, improve the rural economy, and provide affordable access to health care for all Coloradans.
"He comes from a rural background," Williamson said. "I was impressed with him the first time I met him and decided I'd support him."
Salazar owns a potato seed operation in the San Luis Valley. In 2002 he was elected to represent House District 62. He has also served on the Governor's Economic Advisory Board, the state Agricultural Commission and the Rio Grande Water Conservation District.
Williamson said U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis' decision not to seek a fourth term has created some optimism among local Democrats.
John Whitney, a Salazar campaign aide, said voter registration in the 3rd District is divided fairly evenly with 34.65 percent of voters registered as Republicans, 33.44 percent registered as Democrats and 31.91 percent unaffiliated.
"I really think he has an excellent chance," said Terry Carwile, a Moffat County Democrat who is running for a seat on the Board of Commissioners. "He's a rancher from Western Colorado. He a perfect fit. He's acquainted with this part of the state, he understands water issues and has a good record in the Legislature."
Joining Salazar on the campaign trail was Jay Fetcher who is running for the 8th District seat in the state Senate. Fetcher, a Routt County rancher, and Salazar became friends while attending the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Forum.
They've traveled to the former Soviet Union together.
"We share a lot of the same value and we come from the same background -- productive agriculture," Fetcher said.