As this election day draws nearer, I want to convey my personal experience and contact with our former state senator, Gail Schwartz, who is a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District. This represents my own opinion and not of any organization to which I belong.
As our state senator, Gail worked tirelessly and selflessly for her constituents and for all Coloradans, effectively working with Republicans and Democrats to pass constructive legislation, especially helping rural Coloradans. She sponsored legislation that reduced the state's inheritance tax for farmers and ranchers so agricultural land would better be able to be passed on to and afforded to be kept by their heirs. She facilitated the agreement that led to the capture and sale of methane gas from one of the North Fork's coal mines, an operation that continues today even after a shaft fire and other factors over which she had no control forced the closure of the mine. As the chair of the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee, she was recognized by the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts as its outstanding legislator of the year. She chaired three other committees during her second term, was member of another, and earned the well deserved accolade as "the Senate's hardest working member." She worked with local constituents to initially pass and with subsequent legislation, improve the Cottage Foods Act that now benefits small rural food providers by permitting them to sell their products to provide additional income for their families. She helped move forward the law that finally permitted inspection and approval of small hydro-electric installations throughout the state, and especially in Delta County where there is substantial potential to utilize that energy source. She championed education and broadband for rural Colorado communities. Throughout her two terms in the Colorado Senate Gail displayed a passion for serving her district and its citizens, as well as the ability to listen to her constituents' concerns and the willingness and ability to work to constructively address them. Her dedication to the public and her consistently high energy level was evident as she traveled her large district that spanned 11 counties in western and southern Colorado. I have no doubt that she will continue to do the same as our Representative to the U.S. House and urge voters to support her this November for the good of rural Colorado and the nation.