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April 07, 2016 12:36 PM UTC

Gail Schwartz Challenges Scott Tipton in CD-3

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman agrees, Colorado’s CD-3 is now on radar:


As noted by local freelance reporter Sandra Fish:

Sen. Gail Schwartz
Sen. Gail Schwartz

Former SD-5 Senator Gail Schwartz, who has in previous election years been mentioned as a possible CD-3 candidate to challenge incumbent GOP Rep. Scott Tipton, just this morning filed her FEC Form 1 statement to organize her congressional campaign for 2016.

Sen. Schwartz was a very popular state Senator representing a large swing Western Slope district, and arguably has better name ID entering this race than previous Tipton challengers. Tipton originally won in CD-3 by upsetting incumbent Democratic Rep. John Salazar in the 2010 “GOP wave” election, and held on to the seat with somewhat better margins against lesser Democratic opponents since redistricting in 2011–including in 2014 when Tipton walloped Pueblo-based challenger Abel Tapia by over 22%.

Numbers from 2014 won’t mean much this year, however, and as readers know, forecasts of the effect of the Republican Party’s historic disarray in the presidential race include the possibility of large gains for Democrats in Congress.

As that map grows, for Democrats Colorado’s CD-3 quickly moves into the column of obtainable goals. If 2016 turns into the widespread rout for Republicans a growing number of observers predict, Schwartz may be proven wise indeed to have kept her powder dry for this moment.


22 thoughts on “Gail Schwartz Challenges Scott Tipton in CD-3

  1. Gail is a formidable campaigner and as a state senator was spot-on in her support of renewable energy, environment, industrial hemp, sustainabilty and water.  Her days as Chair of the Senate Ag Committee gave us  authentic leadership on a wide range of issues. (not the 'Obama Tears' crap, blocking rain barrels, thinking coal power is a good way to power a 21st-century economy and perpetuating the myth of the 'War on Rural Colorado).  

    I remember a story of going in to her second term as Senator when she was assured by our Einstein watermelon farmer that 'she wouldn't be returning'. He believed her first election was a fluke and couldn't not be repeated.  

    Dismiss her at your peril.  She is one tough cookie  


    1. Who is he and who cares.  This is probably the best candidate the Dems could have gotten for this district.  If things go really south at the top of the Republican ticket, this seat could be in play. Amazing.

      1. Leroy Garcia is state senator from Pueblo who defeated the Repub elected the recall election. 

        he has a mixed record on gun issues which a Dem needs in that district.

      2. I like Gail she represented our senate district well (before it was redistricted and we got Crowder). She has a record of working across the aisle. I like Leroy too, the last Dem to hold that district was a Young Latino. Leroy would have been a great candidate too. 

        Nonetheless, I support Gail and will work to help her.

  2. State Sen. Schwartz will be a formidable Democratic candidate, who though entering a bit late in the game will raise campaign funds. Schwartz will stand up to the EPA and fight for restitution, clean up and precautions to protect Colorado. I look forward to a very challenging and exciting race – hopefully with debates – for this congressional seat. The past election years of "yawning" are hopefully over here.

  3. Hope the DCCC will pay attention and give her some help to catch up. Fortunately Tipton hasn't raised much money , so she might be able to catch up  quite quickly and make this competitive. 

    1. Not a chance unless polls start showing that this could be a landslide year for Dems, making every race more winnable and thereby allowing them to spend less on other races to get wins. 

      Otherwise, since DCCC targets only very competitive races with solid potential for a win there will be no major help forthcoming from that source. Never was for any of our pre-redistricting CD6 Dem candidates. DCCC quite reasonably prioritizes their resource distribution to maximize the chances of getting or retaining a seat for their money. One can argue that their calculations are sometimes off and maybe a seat was more winnable than they judged it to be but you can't expect them to take funds away from more winnable races to give to those with much lower chances. 

  4. Gail can raise funds. And don't forget she knocked off Lew Entz to win her first term. More importantly, her Senate district ranged from Glitter Gulch to the poverty of the San Luis Valley. She is formidable.

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