RBC I Participants in the Meeker and Rangely Democratic precinct caucuses on Tuesday learned that Democrat Emily Tracy of Breckenridge is challenging State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulfur Springs, in his re-election bid.
Senate District 8 is composed of Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Routt, Rio Blanco and Summit counties.
Emily Tracy, a mother, child advocate and teacher at Colorado Mountain College, was the Democratic candidate against Baumgardner in 2012. Baumgardner won that contest with 51 percent of the district-wide vote vs. Tracy’s 44 percent. Tracy announced her intent to run again via an emailed letter to county Democratic chairmen and women on Feb. 22.
In that statement, Tracy said, “When Randy Baumgardner votes to cut retirement benefits for our state patrol officers, teachers and snowplow drivers one week, and then votes to give legislators like himself a pay raise the next, it’s quite apparent he’s spent too much time in Denver.
“This is an important time for our community, and Senate District 8 needs someone with competence and sound judgment to represent everyday people who work hard and play by the rules. He has failed to be that person.”
Tracy says she is running to provide real leadership for the district and hopes to improve our public schools, strengthen the rural economy and defend our water and natural resources.
Tracy has worked with non-profits and has served 16 years on planning commissions. She has connections to the business community through her work with the Summit County Chamber of Commerce, as a board member of Club 20 and with her husband’s business.
She is also a qualified mediator with years of conflict resolution and facilitation experience. Tracy is running on her record of child advocacy and wants to bring common sense back to the district.
“Our community deserves to have their voice heard,” Tracy argued. “I challenge my opponent to get out of Denver and come back to the Western Slope to talk about the issues. I will debate him anyplace, anywhere, anytime.”
Tracy has lived in Summit County for nearly 12 years. Previously, she lived in Canon City and spent eight years on the Canon City Town Council. She has many years of experience in the field of child welfare and adoption, and has been employed by The Adoption Exchange. She also worked four years for the Colorado Judicial Branch, Office of Dispute Resolution, covering the counties of Senate District 8.
She served five years as co-chair of the Summit Chamber’s Legislative Affairs Council. A graduate of the University of Colorado, she has a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in environmental management.
“Year after year, rural and Western Slope Colorado struggle to have our voices heard in state government,” Tracy states.
“We need to strengthen our collective efforts to preserve water resources and agricultural land, bring jobs to the region, protect our environment and ensure that our important tourism industry receives the support it needs.
“I am tired of the Western Slope being an afterthought in Denver, and I am ready to fight to give our rural communities a stronger, more-balanced voice in the state Senate,” she said.
Tracy is expected to attend the Rio Blanco County Democratic Assembly in Rangely on March 20.