Former Colorado legislator and Democratic candidate for the U.S. House Gail Schwartz paid a visit to Northwest Colorado on Tuesday to tour a coal mine and meet with voters in Craig.
Schwartz, of Crested Butte, hopes to defeat three-term Republican Scott Tipton, of Cortez, for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District seat in the U.S. House this November.
“I’m bringing a different choice,” she said. “I think the issues that I’m standing up on shouldn’t be partisan.”
After taking a tour of Trapper Mine, one of Moffat County’s two surface coal mines, Schwartz stopped for a meet and greet at Downtown Books in Craig to discuss her priorities if elected.
Schwartz spoke about preserving public lands with balanced use for agriculture, energy development and recreation, protecting Colorado’s watersheds, fixing the Affordable Care Act and improving infrastructure in rural communities.
“We need to have investment in our rural areas,” she said.
Specifically, Schwartz said improving broadband in rural communities could help add resiliency to local economies.
During her second term in the Colorado Senate, Schwartz served as chair of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee, chair of the Capital Development Committee, chair of the Water Resources Review Committee and chair of the Senate Local Government Committee.
Before being elected to the state Senate for District 5 in 2006, Schwartz sat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents for six years.
Schwartz said she is accustomed to working across party lines and doesn’t think topics such as education or health care should be partisan.
“I will continue to work across the isle and solve problems,” she said.
Her biggest difference with Tipton is stance on water and public lands, Schwartz said.
“If you don’t recognize that water is under threat, then you’re not part of the solution,” she said.
Jo Ann Baxter, chair of the Moffat County Democratic Party, said she was very pleased to have the candidate visit the area.
“She’s very knowledgeable about our issues,” she said.
Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.