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3rd Congressional District candidate Jeff Hurd visits Bayfield

Grand Junction attorney stopped by Chavolo’s Mexican Restaurant on Saturday
Grand Junction lawyer Jeff Hurd, middle, seen here on Oct. 28, 2023, in Towaoc, visited Bayfield on Saturday as part of his campaign for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District seat. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Jeff Hurd understands that water and agriculture are economic lifelines in Southwest Colorado.

That is why he is concentrating on those areas as part of his campaign for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.

He is among six candidates vying for the Republican nomination in the 3rd congressional district, which is up for grabs after U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert left to run for the 4th Congressional District seat.

Hurd told The Durango Herald before a meet-and-greet Saturday at Chavolo’s Mexican Restaurant in Bayfield that he wants to protect water and agriculture in the area and meet with ranchers and producers to address water infrastructure.

“Water infrastructure is a huge issue here in this part of the state,” he said, adding he’d want to find ways to allocate resources effectively so consumers can store water how they see fit.

He also wants to make sure neighboring Arizona, Nevada and California are living within their water budgets and are not “overusing water” from this part of the state.

Hurd said he would like to increase and expand distributed high-altitude water storage to help address the “changing hydrology” in Southwest Colorado.

He also said he wants to work with business owners and ensure federal lands in the region can be used in multiple ways to keep growing the outdoor recreation economy.

“I feel like this part of the state, like other parts of the 3rd Congressional District, are being left behind,” he said. “Our greatest export has become our kids. Oftentimes, they grow up, they leave and they don’t come back. I want to create opportunities so that children here can, when they grow up, stay and live and thrive in Southwest Colorado.”

Hurd is a Grand Junction attorney, practicing commercial and regulatory law at Ireland Stapleton. He also previously served as board chairman of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

He said most of his law practice is energy related and he primarily represents rural extra cooperatives along the Western Slope, giving him a sense of the challenges and opportunities this area faces. He also said he’s focusing on energy independence, adding there are ample opportunities to bolster natural energy resources and subsequent job growth that can emerge.

“Abundant low-cost energy affects not just the electricity that you buy in your home, but also the gas you put in your car and the cost of food that you put on your table,” he said.

He said he wants to tap into low-mercury and low-sulfur coal energy sources along with natural gas versus the more carbon-intensive energy sources.

He also expressed concern that state and federal regulations are inhibiting opportunities to develop energy in the San Juan Basin in an environmentally responsible way.

Hurd met with about 15 to 20 people at Chavolo’s on Saturday. Residents he briefly interacted with included a hunter and a construction company owner.

He said he differs from the other candidates because he “had the political courage to enter the race back when the odds were long,” well before Boebert switched districts. He also believes growing up on the Western Slope and his work ethic will help his chances.

“I’m principled in my views. I’ve been a member of the Republican Party through thick and thin,” he said, adding he’s willing to put his law career to the side to serve the district.

Adam Frisch is the lone Democratic candidate for CD3.

The election primaries will be held on June 25.

mhollinshead@durangoherald.com



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