Root Routledge, a Durango Democrat, has entered the race to challenge incumbent Republican Scott Tipton for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District seat in November.
In recent weeks, Diane Mitsch Bush, a former member of the Colorado House of Representatives, and Karl Hanlon, Glenwood Springs city attorney, were the only declared Democratic candidates.
This week, however, Routledge, as well as former Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi, announced their candidacy.
Each candidate will vie for the chance to unseat Tipton, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010. As of Tuesday, Tipton was unchallenged in the Republican primary.
Tipton won re-election in 2016, beating Democrat Gail Schwartz by a vote of 204,220 to 150,914.
Routledge announced his candidacy Tuesday in a news release to media outlets.
He called himself an “independent Progressive Democrat” who promises to promote the “freedom and well-being of all,” according to the release.
Routledge, 71, says he is a U.S. Air Force and Vietnam War veteran who was elected as a Democratic National Delegate from the 3rd District in 2016 for presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. He also served with the La Plata County Dems Executive Committee and Colorado State Democratic Party Central Committee.
He has worked for Weyerhaeuser Co. Raw Materials R&D as a systems engineer, for the U.S. Forest Service as a project leader in forest fire research, and for Hewlett Packard in quality assurance and as a manufacturing engineer.
In 1991, Routledge founded Alpine Analytics, an industrial and environmental data analytics consulting firm. He has lived in La Plata County since 1994.
“I wanted to run because our country is in crisis right now in many ways, and I don’t believe that the current representative or the other candidates are addressing the crucial strategic issues we need to address,” he told The Durango Herald on Tuesday.
Routledge said he would focus on:
Fixing elections by addressing gerrymandering, election injustice in terms of voter suppression and getting money out of politics.Advocating for comprehensive health care, which includes a Medicare-for-all program with progressive financing.Placing a tax on carbon through a carbon fee and dividend, and pushing for distributed clean energy.Funding public projects with a public bank, as well as providing local economies with jobs and a living wage.The Democratic caucus is March 6.