Grand Junction-Former State Representative Matt Smith ends speculation about his future by announcing Wednesday he will run for the seat being vacated by term–limited State Senator Ron Teck. From 1996 to 2004, Smith represented House District 54, which covers western Mesa and Delta Counties.
Smith, a Republican, was term–limited out of that position. Last year, Smith ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, and lost in the Republican primary to Greg Walcher. Democrat John Salazar eventually beat Walcher in the November election.
Since that time the future of the Meeker–born politician and lawyer has been the focus of a lot of talk, with a possibility he could take a position with the United States Department of the Interior.
Smith tells 11 News he was urged to pursue politics again by friends and supporters, as well as his wife, Judy. He says despite eight years in the house, there is still a lot he would like to accomplish.
As a state representative Smith also pushed forward bills that ensured completion of the expansion of Highway 50 between Grand Junction and Delta.
Smith says he also continues to work with companies to develop more efficient and environmentally–friendly ways to extract resources from the energy–rich Western Slope of Colorado.
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