LA JARA - In a series of weekend town halls, State Rep. Donald Valdez announced his campaign for Congress against Republican Scott Tipton.
In his speech, he said that the 3rd Congressional district has is diverse, both economically and geographically. From the steel mills in Pueblo to the farms and ranches in the San Luis Valley. That diversity makes communities strong. It also means there are many challenges people who live in the district face. Including health care, infrastructure,
“Our way of life is unique, and we need the next generation more than ever. Too many young people are being forced to leave [rural Colorado] to get good paying jobs… We need sustained economic development to [bring them back],” he said.
John and Ken Salazar broke barriers when they were in Washington, D.C., Valdez stated. “We need to continue to break barriers.”
Valdez admitted he is not perfect “but I will stand up against bullying, harassments and threats.”
Farmers and ranchers are being crippled by the tariff wars the current administration has started. “This president heads to China and hurts Colorado farmers economically. He hits Mexico with tariffs and it hurts Colorado industries,” he added.
Colorado had “zero voice in the Ag Committee” that wrote the recent Farm Bill. That needs to change he emphasized.
As for immigration, Valdez does believe it is past time for comprehensive reform. He told the story of a resident that went to the border to get “his paperwork in order.” Valdez said the individual is still at the border, breaking up his family.
Broadband needs to come to “rural-rural Colorado” Valdez said. This will help businesses stay connected to the world and bring new business to the SLV.
It’s when it came to health care that Valdez got passionate. There are families without health insurance or if they do have insurance, they can’t afford the co-pays or premiums and “Congress does nothing about it. Much less about the opioid crisis.”
In his press release, Valdez said “I’m running for Congress because communities like mine need a real change from Washington, D.C.” said Valdez. “I want to represent rural Colorado land and the unique way of life we have, as we fight to make sure our water stays within our communities. While Colorado families go without the healthcare and prescription drugs they need because costs are so ridiculously high; as the opioid crisis devastates our community and we bury our neighbors; and as a politically motivated trade war takes money out of our pockets - making it harder and harder to survive - we see out of touch Washington politicians like Scott Tipton turn their backs on us. Our quality of life in Western Colorado is at stake, and that’s why I’m stepping up, as a farmer from Rural Colorado, to bring the change we need.”
Colorado’s 3rd congressional district encompasses most of the Western Slope and the cities of Grand Junction, Durango, and Pueblo.
Valdez is a 5th generation family farmer, who currently represents Colorado House District 62, which covers portions of Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Huerfano, Mineral County, Pueblo County, Rio Grande and Saguache counties. First elected in 2016, he has been a champion for rural communities that too often get left behind.