Udall visits Frisco during campaign kickoff | VailDaily.com

Udall visits Frisco during campaign kickoff

Harriet Hamilton
Summit County Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

FRISCO, Colorado ” Nearly 60 local Democrats showed up Thursday evening at the Frisco Nordic Center to greet U.S. Rep. Mark Udall on his official campaign kickoff swing through Summit County.

Standing on a picnic bench on the center’s outdoor deck, Udall spoke to the enthusiastic crowd about his family, Western values, and what he feels are important priorities for the country.

“There’s a sense in this state that change is a-blowin’,” he said.

Udall is leaving his position as congressman for the district that includes Eagle and Summit counties to run for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Wayne Allard.

“This is bittersweet,” he said. “My time representing the 2nd Congressional District is drawing to a close.”

Before launching into a short stump speech, the Boulder Democrat alluded to his successful fight in Washington several years ago to keep recycling bins in local post offices, when the federal government wanted them removed.

“What I did was listen to you, and stand up for you,” he said.

Udall went on to enumerate several key campaign issues, including the war in Iraq, the economy, and the environment.

While emphasizing the importance of strong national security, he elicited the most positive reaction from the crowd with his criticism of current American policy in Iraq.

“We face a real threat, but we’re going about it in the wrong way,” he said to strong applause. “I was against the war in Iraq from the start.”

In a dramatic gesture, he held up a piece of silica to demonstrate the nation’s potential use of solar energy to help end its dependence on foreign oil.

“If you cut me I bleed green,” he said in reference to his legislative record as a supporter of the environment. “But green turns into red, white and blue. And there’s nothing more patriotic (than energy independence).”

While waiting for Udall’s arrival from Leadville, 30-year Frisco resident Phyllis Hugins expressed her enthusiasm for his candidacy.

“He’s so special,” she said. “We’ve been here for a long time, and we’ve seen a lot of changes. He seems to be on top of what Colorado needs.”

Udall most likely will face Republican former Congressman Bob Schaffer in the November election. Between them, the two candidates had raised more than $8 million as of the end of March.

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