Voters group endorses opposing candidates |

Voters group endorses opposing candidates

Phillip Yates
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colordao ” In a time of such political partisanship, few can imagine that a Republican and a Democrat would earn the endorsement from the same organization.

But that cynical outlook got flipped on its head Wednesday, when the Colorado Conservation Voters (CCV) announced their support for both the Republican and Democratic candidates running in the State Senate District 8 race, which covers almost all of Garfield County.

That race pits Rep. Al White, R-Hayden, against Steamboat Springs resident Ken Brenner, a Democrat.

Carrie Doyle, executive director of CCV, said it is unusual for the group to endorse two candidates that will eventually square off against each other in November. The organization ” which describes itself as the non-partisan political voice of Colorado’s conservation community ” had a co-endorsement in 2006, one in 2004, she said.

“Candidates can fill out questionnaires and do interviews and talk about how they are going to vote when it comes to protecting Colorado’s natural resources,” Doyle said. “But what is most telling for us, is what actions they have taken. Since both of these candidates have held public office and have strong track records on environmental conservation, we felt that both earned an endorsement from the Colorado Conservation Voters.”

Doyle said her group doesn’t believe that conservation values are the province of just Republicans or just Democrats.

“We are served when there are conservation majorities in the general assembly that include Democrats and Republicans,” she said. “The voters in Senate District 8 have two good options there.”

Doyle said the group endorsed White because of his support for conservation efforts.

He scored a 91 percent on the group’s 2008 Legislative Scorecard.

“He has been consistently a good vote on conservation,” she said. “These issues are important in his district. Being a conservation-minded elected official doesn’t mean he or she votes with the environmental community in lockstep, but we know we can have a really thoughtful conservation with Representative White and we expect Ken Brenner to be a champion on these issues as well.”

White, in a prepared statement, said he was proud to have been twice endorsed by Colorado Conservation Voters.

“The endorsement in (2006), and now again in (2008) proves my commitment to fostering statewide policies that protect and enhance Colorado’s unique environment,” White said.

The Colorado Conservation Voters also endorsed Brenner because of his voting record as a town council member for the city of Steamboat Springs. He was also recognized for his work in protecting about 10,000 acres around Emerald Mountain from residential and industrial development and the conservation of the entire Yampa River corridor, according to CCV.

“He has really done a lot to protect the region’s water and the region’s recreation economy. He has a track record of commitment and following through on protecting the environment.”

Brenner, in the same prepared statement, said it was an honor to have his environmental leadership recognized by CCV and its members.

“I look forward to further championing conservation efforts in the great state of Colorado for generations to come,” Brenner said.

According to the group’s legislative scorecard for 2008, Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, received a 90, and current state Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, who represents state Senate District 8, received a 70, according to the scorecard. Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass, received a 100.

Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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