Romanoff visits Eagle County | VailDaily.com

Romanoff visits Eagle County

Lauren Glendenning
lglendenning@vaildaily.com
Edwards, CO Colorado

NWS Candidate Romanoff DT 7-7-10

EDWARDS, Colorado – Andrew Romanoff is hoping Eagle County locals know him as the candidate money can’t buy, but more importantly he hopes locals just know him.

Romanoff has been traveling around the state on a 10-week tour leading up to the Aug. 10 primary against fellow Democrat Michael Bennet, who Gov. Bill Ritter appointed to the U.S. Senate when Sen. Ken Salazar took the Secretary of the Interior job with the Obama Administration in early 2009. He met with locals at Eat! Drink! in Edwards Wednesday afternoon.

Romanoff is running his campaign on the principles that he’s not taking campaign contributions from special interest groups or corporations. He said 95 percent of his campaign money comes from Colorado donors, which is why voters should trust that he’ll be serving them in the U.S. Senate, not other interests.

He said part of the reason Congress hasn’t made progress on climate change and renewable energy policies is because they’re taking money from special interests like Big Oil companies.

Those companies aren’t contributing money without getting something in return, Romanoff said.

“You have to decide who you’re working for,” Romanoff said. “When I get to Washington, I’ll owe my vote, my seat, my conscience, to the people of Colorado.”

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That’s why Romanoff has Eagle County Commissioner Peter Runyon’s vote. Runyon said Romanoff knows Colorado and would represent the state well.

“He’s been up here countless times, even when he wasn’t thinking about running,” Runyon said. “Andrew understands Western Slope issues.”

Romanoff, the former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, wants to make a difference in the economy, climate change, comprehensive federal immigration reform and other issues.

One of the first places to start, he said, is by balancing the budget.

“In Colorado, it’s not just a good idea (to balance the budget), it’s the law,” Romanoff said. “We can’t spend more than we take in.”

When asked how to get the economy back on track, Romanoff said Congress needs to expand unemployment benefits, which could increase consumer demand, and also make credit more accessible for small businesses.

“We need to make it easier for small businesses to get loans,” Romanoff said.

He also said putting Americans to work on American infrastructure is the best way to both put Americans back to work and also improve the country’s infrastructure.

Romanoff said he’s feeling good about his campaign against Bennet, even though Bennet has raised more in campaign contributions. Romanoff said he now has enough money to run television advertisements through the Aug. 10 primary – something Bennet has been doing since March.

He’s been playing a bit of catch-up in terms of raising money and heavily campaigning, but Romanoff thinks his grassroots efforts in communities across the state – he said he has 3,000 volunteers helping him campaign – along with an endorsement by former President Bill Clinton about a week ago are helping push things along.

Carol Onderdonk, co-chair of the Eagle County Democrats, said Romanoff’s proven record of leadership in the Colorado House of Representatives is what’s going to get him elected.

“He was responsive to needs of all Coloradoans as state Speaker (of the House),” Onderdonk said. “We would have access to him as a Senator – he knows Colorado.”

Romanoff said it’s easy to talk a big talk, but that he backs it up with his record in the Colorado House. He said he hopes voters look into the issues and check his record on things like climate change, tourism, and balancing the budget, among other subjects, before heading to the polls.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com.