Coors brings Senate race to Minturn | VailDaily.com

Coors brings Senate race to Minturn

Kristen Allen
NWS Pete Coors PU 7-30 Vail Daily/Preston Utley Republican Senate canidate Pete Coors discuses his political agenda with republican supporters in Minturn on Friday.
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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Pete Coors brought his own baby to kiss on a campaign stop at the Minturn Country Club on Friday.After U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, a Grand Junction-based Republican, introduced Coors to a crowd of about 50 as “A man who can win it and do exactly what we expect from a senator,” Coors held his 16-month-old grandson – Peter Coors II, who was dressed in red, white and blue – and described his candidacy.”My campaign is all about having a stronger economy and national defense,” Coors said. “Jobs are the No. 1 thing on the minds of people in Colorado. Our No. 1 responsibility is to be sure we have a strong national defense and homeland security.”Coors, 56, was accompanied by several family members on this tour. He said recent endorsements from McInnis, the Greeley Tribune and Republican Rep. Joel Hefley are important successes in a campaign the first-time candidate said was going well.Describing himself as a Washington outsider, Coors said he is a candidate whose experience in business will make up for his political greenness.”I’m not burdened by all the rules and regulations,” Coors said. “But I’m a quick learner. The skills I’ve learned in business can be used in Washington to bring people together and solve problems.”

Coors said the economy, health care, social security, water rights, homeland security and Colorado’s jobs are among the issues he plans to focus on if elected.Cheaper health careCoors said he thinks America needs to re-elect President George Bush in November, saying, “I want to go to work to help him fulfill his vision.”After Coors’ speech, one audience member asked him which Eagle County problems he felt were most important.”I don’t know, you tell me,” Coors responded. “This tour is so I can listen to all of you.”

Regarding a question from Edwards resident and elementary Spanish teacher Patty Domenico about illegal immigration, Coors said he supports locking down America’s borders and Bush’s policy to document immigrants to better enforce laws.Coors, who serves on the board at University Hospital in Denver, said he wants to change tort laws and malpractice suits to bring down the cost of health care.”We must fix this problem,” he said. “I don’t have the absolute answer, but I’m putting together a team to address it.”‘Purple’ state?After Coors’ speech, the audience enjoyed refreshments, discussed their impressions and met Coors’ family and campaign members.

Mike Mathias, 60, a retired Vail resident and one of three Eagle County precinct captains for the Republican Party, said Coors gave “a good stump speech.”The event’s organizer, Randy Milhoan, a gallery owner and vice chair for the Eagle County Republicans, said he was pleased with the sunny weather and the turnout. “It’s pretty obvious he’s new to the game – it’s something he’s going to have to learn,” Milhoan said. “But he seems more polished each time I see him,”Coors has been campaigning since April 13, and plans to stop in Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Delta, and Durango on his tour of the Western Slope.On August 10, Republicans and Democrats will vote in primary election to pick their respective senatorial candidates. Republicans will choose between Pete Coors and former Congressman Bob Schaffer, and Democrats between newcomer Mike Miles and Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar. Colorado has traditionally supported Republican candidates. But this election, some political observers have described Colorado as a “purple” state because Salazar is leading in some polls. With the Senate narrowly divided – with 51 Republicans, 48 Democrats and one independent – Colorado’s race could determine the party majority in the next Senate.