Summit Daily editorial: Emily Tracy will serve Summit County interests well |

Summit Daily editorial: Emily Tracy will serve Summit County interests well

Summit Daily News editorial

District 8 State Senate incumbent Randy Baumgardner appears to be a genuine and decent man, but he has done a poor job representing the interests of Summit County in his four years in office. We should vote him out.

His wrong-headed opposition to a no-brainer traction law defies belief. He has yet to outline a clear stance on why he has stymied a bill that would have required better traction for vehicles traveling Interstate 70 in the winter. He has said the bill was redundant. To use a phrase that the Republican rancher from Hot Sulphur Springs might have heard before, that dog won’t hunt. We think — as do many community leaders and emergency responders in Summit and Eagles counties, as well as the Colorado Department of Transportation — that the bill would have strengthened current laws and resulted in increased safety for motorists cruising along the economic lifeline for the Colorado High Country. Doing everything we can to ensure that I-70 remains open is smart financial move, too. Each closure can run in excess of $800,000 in economic losses.

That’s just one example of Baumgardner’s tone-deafness when it comes to representing resort communities. He has also been an absentee and aloof representative when it comes to Summit County. Few local leaders, the ones most in touch with our community’s most pressing problems, have been able to get through to him. He rarely appears in the area, and when he does, little is done to alert his constituents. How can Baumgardner expect to represent Summit County adequately if he isn’t intimately familiar with our concerns? The truth is, he can’t.

That’s why it’s essential that Summit County voters throw their support behind Emily Tracy, the Democratic challenger who calls Breckenridge home. She has the experience; she has energy and ideas, and she appears to be committed to reaching out to all the far-flung communities in the district, which covers the counties of Garfield, Rio Blanco, Moffat, Routt, Grand, Jackson and Summit.

She ran against Baumgardner back in 2012 and narrowly lost. She’s spent countless hours visiting the district’s communities in her two campaigns. We hope she’s soon allowed to put those relationships to good use at the state Capitol.

Tracy, a Bronx baby, made her way to Colorado in 1965 to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder. She went on to get a master’s degree in public administration. Since then, Tracy has built an impressively diverse resume of experience that includes government and nonprofit service.

She also has worked with the state on child protection, foster care and adoption. She is certified in conflict resolution and worked in the court system doing mediation for four years. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty member at Colorado Mountain College teaching in the school’s sustainability program.

In addition to renewing efforts to toughen traction laws on I-70, Tracy also wants to tackle the area’s skyrocketing health care costs, find solutions to the region’s housing crisis and lead the state to an environmentally sustainable future. We believe she can pull together leaders across her district and the state to accomplish those goals. We believe Emily Tracy has earned your vote to become our next state senator.

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