EAGLE COUNTY - With newly drawn boundary lines that put the western part of Eagle County into the 3rd Congressional District, Rep. Scott Tipton is excited about the opportunity to represent a new part of Colorado.Tipton, a Republican, met with constituents in Avon on Saturday morning to answer questions about his time in office - he was elected in 2010 - and his success as a congressman. About 25 people showed up and asked Tipton about his views on everything from the economy to creating jobs to foreign investment to Obamacare. Tipton is running for re-election in the fall and, if elected, would represent the portion of Eagle County in the 3rd District. The rest of Eagle County will remain in the 2nd District, now represented by Jared Polis, a Democrat.Tipton said he always thought it was ironic that he had to leave the 3rd District to get back to it. The district is large, covering all of the Western Slope and most of the southern part of Colorado, as well."This is a natural fit - it almost consolidates our district a little bit here," he said. "I'm proud to have the privilege of having the opportunity to serve - it's a beautiful area."Vail resident Kaye Ferry, chair of the Eagle County Republicans, feels a sense of relief that Eagle County could have Republican representation once again."It's been a really long time since we've had a Republican and I think we're just lucky," Ferry said. "We lobbied hard to get into the (3rd District), and unfortunately it only got half of us there, but it's better than what we've had in the past."Tipton told the group they'll be seeing a lot more of him before the election, and hopefully afterward, too.Ferry said there is a big disparity between the two parties and to have a Republican back in Eagle County is giving many residents a voice again. She used the example of Hidden Gems advocate Susie Kincaid, who showed up at the Tipton meeting to ask the Republican about wilderness designations, to illustrate why the county needs another voice in Congress. Kincaid, a Polis supporter, didn't get the warmest reception from others in the room when she brought up the wilderness issue.Tipton responded by telling her Congress needs to be very cautious about wilderness designations, adding that other protections should be considered first before such a "proscriptive measure."Ferry said it's an example of the disparity within the county."If we don't have people who understand the long-term impacts of things rather than the short-term results, we're always going to be coming from behind and it's always going to be to the detriment of this community, I think," Ferry said. Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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