White has earned it | VailDaily.com

White has earned it

Eagle County voters will be happy to know that they have two good candidates to choose from in the state Senate District 8 seat.

Democrat Ken Brenner has a history of public service, serving on the Steamboat City Council and Steamboat’s planning commission. As a third-generation Coloradan who grew up on a ranch, Brenner has a unique perspective on one of our region’s most precious resources: water.

He opposes diverting Western Slope water so it can be used on the Front Range, has worked to protect the Yampa River so it can continue to have enough water for the recreation activities that are so important to Routt County’s summer economy. And he makes an excellent point about the lack of data Colorado has on our water quality and quantity.

No doubt, if voters send Brenner to Denver, Eagle County would have someone looking out for our water.

But Eagle County needs more than a water champion in Denver. Eagle County needs someone looking out for all of our interests, including our economy and education.

Republican Al White has proven he puts the Western Slope first as a representative to the state House. We think the term-limited representative has earned the chance to serve in the state Senate.

White has pushed successfully to use taxpayer dollars to market the No. 1 driver of Colorado’s economy: tourism. That $19 million used to promote Colorado has returned an estimated $2 billion in sales tax revenue collected on tourism spending. If only all our taxpayer dollars had that kind of return on investment.

White has worked to change the state’s Public School Finance Act of 1994 to allow school districts ” like Eagle County’s ” to offer teachers higher wages.

White, a very moderate Republican, also has demonstrated he can work with Democrats on issues like the bark beetle, where he has championed tax credits as incentives to prompt private business to remove and use beetle-killed lumber.

As our state faces a more than $100 million shortfall in 2009, we need someone who can form partnerships to ensure those issues near and dear to Eagle County won’t be cut from the state’s budget. That person is Al White.

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