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The Durango Herald - Tipton Brings Campaign To Durango

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Tipton Brings Campaign To Durango

Durango Herald - 2/26/06

Challenger to Rep. Salazar advocates small government


Scott Tipton, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, speaks Saturday to about 50 supporters while his wife and daughters look on. A Fort Lewis College graduate, Tipton hopes to unseat incumbent Rep. John Salazar, a Democrat.

By Chuck Slothower

Republican congressional candidate Scott Tipton stressed the importance of limiting the federal government's role in local affairs during a visit to Durango on Saturday.

The Cortez businessman, joined by his wife and two daughters, gave a morning stump speech to cheering supporters at Rotary Park.

A Fort Lewis College graduate, Tipton hopes to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. John Salazar, a Democrat.

Tipton described himself as a small-government conservative, saying he wants to see fewer mandates come from Washington, D.C.

"I see a system where we empower our state, where we empower our communities," Tipton said.

He pointed to the U.S. Department of Education, whose $50 billion budget, he said, has increased more than fourfold since the 1980s.

"Government that governs best, governs least," he told the Herald.

Tipton vowed to protect gun-ownership rights, water rights and private property from government takeover. He said gun control is "hitting the target 10 out of 10 times."

Voters and party activists basked in spring-like weather while listening to Tipton, the owner of Mesa Verde Pottery.

Bob Downs of Durango said he intended to vote for Tipton. "We need to get things straight and honest in Washington," he said.

Tipton sought to distinguish himself from Salazar on taxes, noting the first-term congressman from Manassa voted against making President Bush's tax cuts permanent. He also promised to protect America's borders.

"We have the right - we have the obligation - to protect America's borders to the north, to the south, to the west and to the east," Tipton said.

Tipton has never held elected office but has participated in GOP politics for decades. He cast his lack of Washington experience as an advantage.

"I'm not a career politician," Tipton said, "and that gives me a certain freedom - the freedom to challenge the system, and challenge the system I will."

He called the ethics scandals that have rocked Washington and touched Republican congressional leaders as "nothing short of shameful."

"No one owns me," he said. "I will go back to Washington; I will rattle that gilded, golden cage."

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