Ritter endorses Scanlan | VailDaily.com

Ritter endorses Scanlan

Jonathan Batuello
Summit County Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Mark Fox/Summit DailyColorado Gov. Bill Ritter, center, made an appearance while speaking briefly at the home of Leon and Denise Levy in Keystone during a support gathering for State Sen. Dan Gibbs and Rep. Christine Scanlan Saturday morning. Gibbs and Scanlan are pictured directly behind Gov. Ritter.

KEYSTONE, Colorado ” Gov. Bill Ritter came to Keystone Saturday to help endorse his fellow Democrats, saying that state Sen. Dan Gibbs and State Rep. Christine Scanlan are two of the most-gifted people serving in the state House.

Ritter spoke at a support gathering for the two Democrats up for election.

Gibbs was originally elected as a representative for district 56, but became senator when Joan Fitz-Gerald stepped down, and Scanlan was selected to fill Gibbs’ vacancy. Both are now running to retain their position in the state legislation.

Gibbs focused his talk on Colorado’s forest health and pine beetles.

He talked about a need to help forests and wildlife so that future Colorado residents can experience the same nature he has.

“I think he appreciates the importance of striking this balance that preserves and conserves wildlife and to do what we can to preserve forests,” Ritter said.

“I’m not sure there is a better advocate in the state Senate or the state House than Dan.”

Scanlan discussed the education reform bill she was a part of getting through legislation and her recent trip to Washington D.C. to gain help for the pine-beetle problem the state is facing.

“As a freshman, Christine Scanlan carrying that education bill, the importance of that can’t be overstated and her ability to work with Republicans and get it passed and help us with the most meaningful school reform that’s happened in this state in decades speaks volumes,” Ritter said.

Ritter also mentioned the importance in helping the two to get re-elected so they can continue to bring the same enthusiasm to the processes they have already started.

“I think we are just now getting some momentum going (with forest-health help),” Scanlan said.

“I think there is just a level of education (in Washington) they haven’t quite reached yet about how serious a problem this is and we have just started to push our way through the door.”

For Scanlan, the help of Ritter speaking on her behalf was tremendous.

“I think he’s enormously well-respected across the state and particularly in this county for the work that he’s done,” she said.

“So having him here is amazing. I kind of can’t believe we managed to do it with his crazy schedule.”

Jonathan Batuello can be reached at (970) 668-4653 or jbatuello@summitdaily.com.

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