Apr 122006
 
Authors: JAMES BAETKE The Rocky Mountain Collegian

A former Ronald Reagan appointee and disillusioned lifelong Republican has formally announced his bid to run for the Fourth Congressional District, but on the Reformer Party ticket.

Eric Eidsness, a 61-year-old Fort Collins resident, will campaign against State Rep. Angie Paccione, a Fort Collins Democrat, and Fort Morgan Republican Marilyn Musgrave, who currently holds the seat in Congress.

“My former party is unrecognizable to me,” Eidsness said. “It professes fiscal conservatism, smaller government and a foreign policy that represents our values and principles, but behaves just the opposite.”

Eidsness is pro-choice, opposes the war in Iraq and has distaste for Bush’s financial handling with the U.S. national debt.

“The Republican party has lost its way; it’s tightly controlled by Marilyn Musgrave and her operatives,” Eidsness said.

His campaign motto might as well be “patriotism over partisanship.” Eidsness said national parties are at battle with others in a time when they should be united, especially while at war with Iraq.

Serving as a U.S. Naval Officer in the Vietnam conflict, Eidsness knows what it’s like fighting in combat.

Following his Vietnam service, Eidsness has had a career in environmental engineering and construction, serving nine years in local and high-level federal government policy positions and 23 years as a businessman.

President Reagan appointed Eidsness in 1981 as an assistant administrator for water in the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C.

He believes he will snatch votes from both major parties that are unsatisfied with their party-line candidates, along with winning many of the independent votes.

Eidsness points out that 35 percent, or about 130,000, of the voters in the 18-county Fourth Congressional District are unaffiliated.

“I am a clear alternative,” he said. “The challenge is not to get the vote, but to get the people to know who I am.”

His multi-paged Web site, www.eric4congress.com, contains more material and information than those of his campaign opponents – a campaign tool he hopes he can use to capitalize on votes.

“Eric, a former Republican and a long-time friend, has a solid understanding of the fundamentals of good government and a vision for the future of Colorado and the United States,” said Warren and Fern Wolaver of Loveland, in a statement on Eidsness’ Web site.

As for Paccione and Musgrave, Eidsness said both candidates are unqualified for the job. He challenges both lawmakers to debates in the future – at any time and any place.

“If it’s a beauty contest, metaphorically and literally, Musgrave or Paccione will probably win,” he said.

Eidsness is divorced with three children, including a son who was recently honorably discharged as a helicopter crew chief in the U.S. Marine Corps. Eidsness has lived in Fort Collins on and off for 30 years.

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To learn more about candidate Eric Eidsness or to volunteer for his campaign visit www.eric4congress.com or write to:

P.O. Box 2111

Fort Collins, CO 80522

James Baetke can be reached at regional@collegian.com

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