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David O. WilliamsDavid O. WilliamsJuly 13, 201618min486

In certain working-class towns on Colorado’s Western Slope, it’s a slur to say someone is an Aspen liberal, and it’s an accusation that’s been thrown at Democrat Gail Schwartz repeatedly since she first decided to challenge incumbent U.S. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, in early April. “While Gail Schwartz has been at a cocktail party somewhere in Aspen, far removed from the working people of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and no doubt patting herself of the back for all her brilliant extremist ideas, Congressman Tipton has been standing up for the coal industry, high paying jobs and affordable energy,” a Tipton fundraising email read on June 7. The strategy is clear: Paint Schwartz, a former state senator and member of the CU Board of Regents, as an elitist Aspenite obsessed with renewable energy at the expense of Colorado’s coal, oil and natural gas industries. It’s reminiscent of Republican attempts, ultimately successful, to portray former Sen. Mark Udall as a Boulder liberal obsessed with social issues over economic concerns.