Tipton Makes It Official
Cortez Journal - 2/25/06
Cortez Republican formally announces bid to unseat Salazar
By Steve Grazier
Republican Scott Tipton made his candidacy for Congress official among an enthusiastic GOP crowd Thursday morning at Mesa Verde Pottery. Tipton's hometown, Cortez, was his first appearance in a three-city swing, which also included Grand Junction and Pueblo the same day.
In front of nearly three-dozen local Republicans, the Cortez businessman formally announced his bid for the 3rd Congressional District against first-term U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa.
"We need a work horse in Congress, not a show horse," said Tipton, while flanked by wife Jean and daughters Liesl and Elizabeth, who both introduced their father. "I stand before you as a private, ordinary citizen ready to serve."
Tipton has owned and operated his business, Mesa Verde Pottery, for 26 years. He cited growing up on the Western Slope and developing his business from the ground up as worthwhile life experiences to serve in public office.
Meeting payroll and taking money to create new employment and new taxpayers are also key achievements, Tipton said.
"In Congress I will fight to keep our tax dollars and bring them home," he said. "Government always seems to need more. That's not common sense; it's nonsense."
Tipton, 49, defines himself as a pro-life, fiscal conservative who supports the war on terror and the Iraqi war. He favors tax cuts and securing U.S. borders not only to combat terrorism but also to help prevent illegal immigration.
If elected, Tipton said, he will fight to provide quality health care, eliminate the inheritance tax, combat illegal drugs like methamphetamine, protect Colorado's eminent domain (property and water) and safeguard Second Amendment rights.
"Government needs a swift kick," Tipton said. "In Congress I will rattle that gilded cage."
Over the last nine years, Tipton has been the chairman of the 3rd District, and presently, he is the sole Republican actively campaigning to represent the party in the August primary. Former GOP nominee Greg Walcher, of Palisade, filed paperwork to run in January 2005, but he has not been seen along the campaign trail.
Tipton has garnered about $233,000 in contributions thus far, a number he said exceeds any GOP 3rd District contender at this point from years past. He said approximately 93 percent of campaign donations have come from the district, which totals 29 counties.
Despite trailing Salazar in fund raising by about $800,000, Tipton is hopeful his one-on-one contact with district voters the past few months will make up some ground.
"If I had picked up one dollar for every handshake I'd be way ahead (financially)," he said. "You can't measure the time I've spent visiting with 135 people from La Vida and 14 in Walden."
Endorsements from some prominent Republicans in the state are starting to accrue, Tipton said. Recently, he's picked up public support from U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, beer mogul Pete Coors and Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, who decided Wednesday not to run for the 3rd District seat.
"We're broadening the net," said Tipton, who mentioned a March 23 fund-raiser is on tap with Coors at (John) Elway's Restaurant in Cherry Creek.
Another campaign announcement for Tipton was scheduled Friday evening in Durango, and today events are slated in Montrose and Glenwood Springs.
Colorado's primary election is set for Aug. 8, and the general election is Nov. 7.