Political newcomer forces incumbent congressman into June primary | SteamboatToday.com

Political newcomer forces incumbent congressman into June primary

— Alex Beinstein, a 28-year-old resident of Carbondale, added a new layer of complexity to the race for Colorado's Third Congressional District race, which includes Routt and Moffat counties, when he earned 40.3 percent of the delegates at the Republican State Convention this month. That was more than enough to force incumbent Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) into a June 28 primary battle.

The winner of the primary will face Democratic challenger and former state senator Gail Schwartz of Crested Butte in the general election. Another Democratic candidate, Gypsum veterinarian Steve Sheldon, fell just shy of winning enough delegates to qualify for a primary race against Schwartz.

Tipton, seeking his fourth term in Congress, claimed 358 delegates at the convention in Colorado Springs and 242 pledged to Beinstein. The latter needed 30 percent of the delegates to force the primary election.

Beinstein said in a policy statement on his website that his campaign will be based on two issues: honoring the U.S. Constitution and "putting Saudi Arabia at the forefront of the war on Islamic terror." He wrote that with the United States becoming more energy independent, America should enact "smart, targeted sanctions" on the Saudis, while reducing economic ties between the two countries.

Beinstein also favors public lands, rivers and natural resources belonging to states.

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"With the federal government owning more than 600 million acres of land, it is time to return such property back to the States," Beinstein wrote. "Washington D.C. shouldn’t control how we use our lands and water and mines here in Colorado, we should."

Beinstein told Steamboat Today he is scheduled to speak to the Routt County Republicans May 4.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1