Salazar stumps in Glenwood |

Salazar stumps in Glenwood

Post Independent Photo/Jim Noelker

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Ken Salazar pledged to be the “people’s senator” if elected this fall.

He is campaigning to get elected to the U.S. Senate seat that Republican Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell is vacating.

He’ll face Democratic opponent Mike Miles in the state’s Aug. 10 primary to see who will move onto the general election for the Democrats.

Salazar, 49, who is now the state’s attorney general, spoke to a crowd of about 35 at the Glenwood Canyon Brewpub Wednesday afternoon as part of a campaign trip that he said will eventually reach all 64 of Colorado’s counties.

“We chose this establishment specifically because they don’t serve Coors beer,” Garfield County Democratic Party chairman Don Kaufman joked, referring to one of Salazar’s Republican opponents, Pete Coors.

Salazar spoke for an hour Wednesday on some of the issues shaping his campaign.

“My history is one that is steeped in the landscape and history of Colorado,” the fifth-generation Coloradan said. “In the end, I want to be the people’s senator, not a rubber stamp for whoever’s president.”

Salazar didn’t speak against the war in Iraq, but he did say he’d like to see the United States stop acting alone in its foreign policy.

“We are in Iraq today, and it is my opinion that we can’t cut and run,” he said. “America ought not to be acting unilaterally in the world. I have two daughters … and I don’t want them to go into a world where Americans are hated wherever they go.”

On the state of the budget, Salazar said the country’s fiscal health has been handled in the wrong way and said permanent tax cuts won’t work because the deficit will continue to grow.

“We need to make sure we pay for these things instead of passing the debt onto our children,” he said. “I don’t know the answer yet on how we’re going to cut the deficit, but it’s our moral obligation to do so.”

He called abortion “a decision made between a woman and her God.”

Education and the environment will also be focal points of his campaign.

“The environment is something we have an opportunity to borrow for a short time, but we have an obligation to give it back to our children in a better condition than when we got it,” he said.

Salazar called for a balance between all sides in the drilling of natural gas.

“I don’t have an anti-development perspective,” he said. “On the other hand, we need wild places in our world.”

He said he’s against drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, but didn’t address the proposal to drill for natural gas on the Roan Plateau.

Salazar noted that he was one of the four original founders of Great Outdoors Colorado, or GOCO, which uses state lottery money to purchase open space.

“I want to take that same kind of problem-fixing ability to the U.S. Congress,” he said.

Salazar said he’d like to change the laws that prohibit importation of cheaper prescription drugs from other countries.

“My position is, I’m not representing the drug companies, I’m representing the consumers and the people of Colorado,” he said.

“The role of a U.S. senator is to become informed and involved and make the best decision you can,” he said.

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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