Democrats have a challenger for Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, in the November election.
Pueblo County Commissioner Liane “Buffie” McFadyen said Tuesday that she plans to run against Tipton, who is going for his third term in Congress.
McFadyen and Tipton served together in the state Legislature.
“Although I believe the incumbent is a nice man, we need more than nice. I call the Third Congressional District in Colorado the forgotten district. It needs a champion for it,” McFadyen said. “I believe it needs a more maverick personality.”
McFadyen represented Pueblo West in the state House from 2003 to 2010. She chaired the House Transportation and Energy Committee, and advocated on behalf of state employees, especially prison and highway workers.
Tipton had little say on his challenger Tuesday in Washington.
“I think, before we have any comment, we need to hear what she has got to say, if she’s going to get into the race,” Tipton said.
McFadyen has not yet filed paperwork to declare her candidacy.
With just nine months to the election, McFadyen will have to quickly raise money and boost her name recognition in the sprawling Third Congressional District, which covers most of the Western Slope, plus the San Luis Valley and Pueblo.
Contrasts between the two were clear Tuesday afternoon, when Tipton voted with most House Republicans against raising the country’s debt limit. GOP leaders let the debt increase pass with mostly Democratic votes in favor.
“Given our nation’s staggering debt, raising the debt ceiling without at least getting comparable spending cuts in exchange is not appropriate,” Tipton said in a news release.
McFadyen said she recognizes the need to control spending, but raising the debt ceiling pays for spending that Congress has already approved.
“Essentially, voting against the debt ceiling would be defaulting on our bills,” she said.
Tipton easily beat former state Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, in the 2012 election, and Pace now serves alongside McFadyen on the Board of County Commissioners.
Washington writer Katie Fiegenbaum contributed to this report.