Candidacy: 3rd District U.S. Congress; Republican, Incumbent
Education: B.A. Political Science, Fort Lewis College, Durango
Occupation: Owner, with brother, of Mesa Verde Indian Pottery, Cortez
Family: Wife and two daughters; lives in Cortez
Prior Government Experience: Incumbent U.S. Congressman, elected 2010; previously Colorado state representative for House District 58, from 2009-2011
Scott Tipton is running again for Congress because “being a small businessman in the 3rd District, I see businesses like mine having a tough time. I see families struggling. We’ve got to get this economy moving. Policies have been in place for four years now, and they’re not working. I want to bring common sense back to politics.”
Tipton touted his successes in the recent Congress. “I got five bills through the full House, with support from Republicans and Democrats. One was the Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act, which passed the full House; another was the Healthy Forest Management Act of 2012.” The latter, introduced by Tipton in July, is one of many provisions of the larger Farm Bill, which made it out of the House Committee on Natural Resources but has yet to be voted on by the full House.
The Small Hydro bill still being considered by the Senate would, Tipton said, “streamline the regulatory process for small hydro development....
“We have,” he went on, “been allowing the federal regulatory process to stifle development – and the entrepreneurial spirit.”
Of the most important issues facing con stituents in the 3rd District, Tipton said, “People are worried about their jobs. We have to create those opportunities. Moms measuring how many gallons of gas they can put in their car and still buy groceries. These are very personal issues. People are worried about being able to provide for their families.”
Another big issue, Tipton said, for Coloradans, is that “we are concerned about the bark beetle kill and the impact on water, on our important viewsheds.” His bill, he said, would allow states more latitude in designating and managing affected forests.
“Farm and range communities. They are strug gling through drought. I fought to stop a proposed rule by the Department of Labor that would have prevented children, under age 16, from working on the family farm. Young kids would not be allowed to drive a tractor or handle mature animals. That would kill 4H. You learn by doing, on the family farm.
“We called the Department of Labor to task on that. They’ve now pulled the rule for the balance of the year.”
On working long-distance, in Washington, D.C., Tipton said, “Virtually every weekend I’ve been home.” The district is immense, he said. “Twenty-nine counties. But we’ve held 52 town hall meetings. We’re reaching out. We’ve got a big area to cover. It’s a privilege more than a challenge” to represent the district.
On why he should win in November, TIpton said, “It’s always in the hands of the voters. But I think I reflect the values of the district.” Regarding water rights, he said, “The Forest Service was going to make the ski areas, the leaseholders, hand over their water rights to the federal government. I fought that.” And when issues came up affecting family farms, he said, “I stood up and pushed back, and won.
“I’ve shown an ability to work across the aisle. How many freshmen Congressmen have been able to pass five bills in the House?
“I’ve reached out. We’ve had town hall meetings in small towns across the district, in Maybell, Hotchkiss, Fort Garland. In Grand Junction once, someone asked me, ‘Where is Fort Garland?’ It’s over by La Veta Pass, on the way to Walsenburg.
“We’ve opened five Congressional offices across the district, and saved money in the process. We’ve shown real fiscal responsibility.”