Curry early entry in’04 District 61 race |

Curry early entry in’04 District 61 race

A desire to protect Western Slope water is the primary reason why Kathleen Curry of Gunnison is running for the state House District 61 seat in the 2004 election.

Curry, 43, a Democrat, visited Glenwood Springs Thursday to formally announce her candidacy and to visit colleagues at other water agencies.

She is the manager of the Upper Gunnison Water Conservancy District, although she is cutting back her hours to work on special projects once a new manager is found.

Curry is married to Gunnison rancher Greg Peterson, and they have two sons, Bill and Joe. She holds a master’s degree in water resources from Colorado State University and has worked in the water field for the past 15 years.

Gregg Rippy, a Glenwood Springs Republican, currently holds the 61st District seat, which represents residents of eastern Garfield County and Pitkin, Gunnison and Hinsdale counties. In essence, the district stretches from Silt to Lake City.

Rippy has not yet said whether he will seek a third term in the state Legislature.

“With the water issues facing the Western Slope and District 61 in particular, it’s a good time to bring my expertise in water to the Legislature,” Curry said.

At present, she is campaigning against Referendum A, the statewide question on the Nov. 4 ballot that would authorize $2 billion in loans for new water projects.

“It’s not useful for us, and it could be a danger,” she said of the measure.

Few Western Slope water projects could be repaid by users, Curry said, but the measure offers new funding for projects that could divert more water from Western Slope rivers to the Front Range.

If elected, Curry said, she will push for new state laws to protect basins of origin – river basins that lose water to transbasin diversions.

While water will be the central issue in her campaign, Curry said she will also focus on helping farms and ranches remain economically viable, on the costs of health care in rural areas, and on rural transportation.

“I have enthusiasm, concern and compassion for the Western Slope and this district,” Curry said. “People will see I am truly motivated to try to do a better job to improve the welfare of folks in this district.”

Contact Heather McGregor: 945-8515, ext. 517

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