DENVER, (COLO.) - Four years ago, Republican Scott Tipton was a small-town pottery dealer known only for losing badly to Democratic Representative John Salazar as Democrats took control of the House.
Times have changed for both State Representative Tipton and his party.
Tipton still has the pottery business in Cortez, but now he's also a state lawmaker in this rural, sprawling district about the size of Arkansas, Salazar has a fight on his hands to win a fourth term.
Tipton and his backers seem unusally confident given that Salazar won the 2006 contest with 62 percent of the vote.
Backers say the race will be closer this year, but Salazar can hang on despite the nation's anti-incumbent mood. Tipton is taking advantage of the Congressional calendar to continue his effort to unseat incumbent Salazar.
Members of Congress are preparing to return to work after a summer recess. Tipton is planning another town-hall style meeting with voters in Rifle Monday.