Energy, economy, casino spotlighted during state candidate forum
Baxter, Tracy host discussion about issues at Downtown Books in Craig
“It’s going to be a long process. We may see it and we may not. Personally, I don’t think it’s a great idea, but I certainly would support it if that’s what the people want. I hope it continues to be a topic of conversation in the communities.”
— Colorado House District 57 candidate Jo Ann Baxter, D-Craig, about the proposed Indian casino project in Hayden
Energy, the economy and the latest developments surrounding the proposed Hayden casino project were highlighted Thursday during the latest candidate forum in Craig.
Colorado House District 57 candidate Jo Ann Baxter, D-Craig, and Colorado Senate District 8 candidate Emily Tracy, D-Breckenridge, hosted the event at Downtown Books, 543 Yampa Ave.
About 12 Craig and Moffat County voters attended the meeting, many voicing concerns about the economy, Tracy said.
Though none of the local residents in attendance were particularly worried about losing their own jobs, they raised concerns about the jobs of their neighbors, friends and community members — many of whom rely on the coal and power generation industries.
Tracy took advantage of the opportunity to reiterate her energy platform.
“Both Jo Ann and I have very similar views in regards to coal,” Tracy said. “I have said all along in my campaign we’re not going to walk away from any resources we have in Colorado, whether it’s coal in the ground, oil and gas, or wind and solar.
“Not only because we’re exporting some of these things because of increased demand around the world, but because no one wants to go back to primitive times where we don’t have electricity.”
There was also a lot of interest in the Sleeping Giant Group’s proposed Indian casino project in Hayden, Baxter said.
The Sleeping Giant Group is comprised of five Routt County residents — including Steve Hofman and winter Olympian Johnny Spillane, both of Steamboat Springs.
On Tuesday the Steamboat Today reported, following a 35-minute meeting between Hofman and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia in Denver, that Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration would likely not support a new casino venture anywhere in Colorado.
Taking into account the lengthy and complex application and approval processes, Hofman was cited as saying SGG would press on with the project in hopes a future administration might consider the idea.
Those attending Thursday’s event were curious to know what position Baxter would take on the casino should she win the office of HD57.
“It’s going to be a long process,” Baxter said. “We may see it and we may not.
“Personally, I don’t think it’s a great idea, but I certainly would support it if that’s what the people want. I hope it continues to be a topic of conversation in the communities.”
Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.