Udall has diverse challenger | VailDaily.com

Udall has diverse challenger

Christine McManus
Mark Udall stands outside of his new Minturn office located at 291 Main Street. Udall held a press conference to discuss his wilderness proposal for the White River National Forest.

Rep. Mark Udall has challengers again this year who have completely different political ideals than the incumbent Democrat.For example, Libertarian candidate Norm Olsen is running just to prove that fund-raising wins elections, not platforms.Olsen is the chair of the Colorado Libertarian Party, which advocates for a minimal government that handles only powers established in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution – that includes war, a mail system, coining and regulating money, citizenship, court and legislation.

“I know I’m not going to win. The reason I’m running is to tell people that they are not electing their representatives, the special interest lobbyists are,” Olsen said. “I predict this race will be exactly the same outcome as two years ago where Udall spends more than 10 times the campaign dollars as his Republican opponent. The elite in Washington, D.C., already decided this race.”Olsen said the federal government must reduce excessive debt spending. He said he will spend maybe $1,000 on his campaign, whereas Udall has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.Udall, a Democrat, is seeking re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives for a fourth, two-year term representing Summit, Eagle, Grand, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties and parts of Boulder, Broomfield, Jefferson, Weld and Adams counties.Republican Michael Kennedy began campaigning by touring Colorado towns from Boulder to Broomfield to Vail the past several months.At the state’s recent Republican convention, Kennedy came a step closer to securing Republican support. He received a majority of the delegates’ votes against Republican latecomer Steve Hackman.

Kennedy’s main focus in Colorado, he said, is finding places to build more reservoirs. There isn’t going to be enough water to support future growth in Colorado, he said. On Monday, Kennedy drafted a letter to California Gov. Arnold Schwartzenagger asking the nation’s most populous state to start building more desalinization plants instead of using Colorado River water as established in historic water treaties.If elected this fall, Kennedy said he would advocate for a 10 percent raise for military employees and continue funding for training and equipment to support efforts in Iraq. Kennedy also said he favors vouchers nationally for home schools, charter schools and parochial schools.

Udall is a member of the House Resources Committee, House Science Committee and House Agriculture Committee, House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Udall helped pass legislation to turn Rocky Flats, the former nuclear weapons facility, into a wildlife refuge. He also helped establish an education program for science and math in public schools. Of the seven House members in Colorado, two are Democrats and five are Republicans. The two U.S. senators are Republican.

Support Local Journalism