White to run for Senate in 2008

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— Al White, current Republican state representative for Northwest Colorado House District 57, has announced he will run for state Senate District 8 in 2008.

"After discussing the possibility of a run for the Senate with my family and friends, I have decided to continue my efforts serving the people of Northwest Colorado at the state capitol," White said in a press release dated Sept. 6. "There is much work to be done, and I feel that my service is not an option, but an obligation to the citizens of the district."

District 8 encompasses most of the same area as House District 57, including Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties. It does not include Grand County, but does expand to parts of Eagle County.

Eagle County, home to Vail, is considered to be more Democratic than most other areas in western Colorado, but that shouldn't be a problem for White's campaign, said campaign manager Matt Johnston.

"We always look at different areas," Johnston said. "We find what we can do for those voters regardless of what political party they follow. Al has shown with his voting record, he votes what he feels is right. We always draw more than strict party lines."

White looks to continue following the same issues he did while in the House.

"I will be a champion for K through 12 education, a shepherd of tourism, a supporter of the environment and a supporter of agriculture and natural resources," White said. "All those still require some oversight."

White has been weighing his decision to run for the past couple of weeks.

He has been elected to four two-year terms in the Colorado House of Representatives and is ineligible to run again for a House seat because of term limits.

State Sen. Jack Taylor (R), White's ally in state Congress who currently represents the voters in Senate District 8, is ineligible to run for his seat in 2008 also because of term limits.

The state senator has been quoted in the Daily Press as saying he would give his full endorsement to White should he choose to run.

White currently resides in both Winter Park and Hayden with his wife of 28 years, Jean.

Prior to his political career, the Whites owned sports shops in Winter Park, including stores for ski equipment, a mountain bike shop and a mountain lodge in and around Winter Park.

Should he be elected to two, four-year terms in the Senate, White doesn't plan on staying in politics afterward.

"Citizens in Colorado have decided they don't want their representatives serving more than eight years in the House and eight years in the Senate," White said. "I think after that time, I'll be in a place I can settle down."

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