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Former Lt. Governor Jane Norton said she was spurred to try to win Colorado Democrat Michael Bennet's U.S. Senate seat by what she sees as the dramatic expansion of government in the Obama era. In stump speeches, emails and interviews, she has vowed to work to cut federal spending as a way to end the "government takeover" of the private sector. One of the ways Norton proposes to trim spending is to eliminate the federal Department of Education. That dramatic proposal has predictably shocked members of the left-leaning Colorado politics-blogosphere, but it also surprised at least one conservative member of the small crowd gathered two weeks ago at the Lamplighter restaurant in Alamosa, where Norton reportedly first unveiled the proposal.