Two Republicans have entered the fray to take down a key state senate seat narrowly won by Democrat Gail Schwartz in 2006, as the GOP eagerly eyes any possible openings in the party’s bid to reclaim a majority in the Colorado Senate.
According to the Aspen Daily News, both Bob Rankin, who has homes in Aspen and Carbondale, and Wayne Wolf of Delta will challenge Schwartz for her Senate District 5 seat. Both Republicans are promising a friendlier business climate in the state, especially for oil, gas and mining interests.
Schwartz, of Snowmass Village in Pitkin County, is right on the edge of the Garfield County gas patch (Republican Sen. Al White covers most of the area), but she has been outspoken on energy and environmental issues, especially pertaining to water conservation.
Rankin, a retired aerospace and computer executive, and Wolf, an ex-Delta County commissioner who unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. John Salazar for the Third Congressional District last year, will also apparently sound the other GOP siren song of the 2010 election: repeal higher vehicle registration fees and fines passed by Democrats to pay for critically crumbling highway infrastructure like 125 deficient bridges around the state.