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Scott Tipton

Scott Tipton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by John Salazar
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 58th district
In office
January 9, 2009 – January 2, 2011
Preceded by Ray Rose
Succeeded by Don Coram
Personal details
Born (1956-11-09) November 9, 1956
Española, New Mexico, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jean Tipton
Children Liesl
Alma mater Fort Lewis College
Religion Anglican
Website campaign website

Scott R. Tipton (born November 9, 1956) is the U.S. Representative for Colorado's 3rd congressional district. In November 2010, he defeated three-term, Democratic incumbent John Salazar, whom he lost to by a wide margin, in 2006. He is a member of the Republican Party. He was a member of the Colorado House of Representatives and a co-owner of a pottery company in Cortez, Colorado. Prior to being elected to public office, he was chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, from 1997 to 2008.

Early life

Tipton was raised in Cortez, where he attended public schools with his brother Joe and graduated from Montezuma-Cortez High School. He went on to Ft. Lewis College in Durango where he studied political science and graduated in 1978. After Ft. Lewis, he returned to Cortez and founded Mesa Verde Indian Pottery, which he co-owns with his brother, Joe.

Early political career

A lifelong Republican, he became involved in the unsuccessful Reagan presidential campaign of 1976 and was a delegate to the Republican Convention that year. He also assisted with local campaigns for Reagan in 1980 and 1984 across Montezuma County, Colorado and the 3rd Congressional district.

He held various roles for the campaigns of George W. Bush. A former Montezuma County Republican chairman, he was also the party chairman of the 3rd Congressional District for eight years.

Colorado legislature

2008 election

On February 5, 2008, he announced his candidacy for the Colorado House seat representing District 58. The announcement came shortly after the incumbent, Ray Rose, announced he would retire in 2008. He had no opposition in the Republican primary,[1] but faced Democratic candidate Noelle Hagan in the November 2008 general election. Hagan's candidacy was endorsed by the Denver Post[2] and the Montrose Daily Press, [3] but Tipton won the with 59 percent of the vote.[4]


With Representatives Laura Bradford and Frank McNulty, Tipton planned on re-introducing a version of Jessica's Law to establish minimum sentences for child sex offenders,[5] sponsoring bills to create a full-time judge position in Montrose[6][7] and to simplify water rights filing.[8] The attempt to introduce a version of Jessica's Law was unsuccessful, it dying in committee.[8]

Committee assignments

For the 2009 legislative session, Tipton was named to seats on the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee and the House Local Government Committee.[9]

U.S. House of Representatives



He unsuccessfully challenged the then, first term, Democratic U.S. congressman, John Salazar. Tipton lost 38% to 62% for Salazar.[10]


He again challenged Democratic incumbent John Salazar in Colorado's 3rd congressional district. Libertarian Gregory Gilman and independent Jake Segrest were also on the ballot, with independents John W. Hargis, Sr. and James Fritz qualified as write-in candidates. He decided to retire from the Colorado House of Representatives to run for Congress in 2010, again challenging Salazar.[11] In the Republican primary, he defeated Bob McConnell 56% to 44%.[12] In the general election, he defeated Salazar 50.10% to 45.76%.


In 2012, he was challenged by Sal Pace, a Democratic state representative from Pueblo. His re-election campaign was aided by $1.3 million in advertising against Pace, funded by the Grover Norquist led, Americans for Tax Reform.[13] SG Interests, an oil and gas company from Texas, that sought to drill in the Thompson Divide area, also campaigned against Pace.[14]


He has signed Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge.[15] He has also supported the Ryan Plan, having twice voted for it.[16]

In 2010 Tipton signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[17]

Committee assignments


Tipton introduced the Water Rights Protection Act (H.R. 3189; 113th Congress) into the House on September 26, 2013. The bill would prevent federal agencies from requiring certain entities to relinquish their water rights to the United States in order to use public lands.[18] Tipton said the bill was needed because it "provides critical protection for water rights' holders from federal takings by ensuring that federal government agencies cannot extort private property rights through uneven-handed negotiations."[19] Tipton argued that the bill "prohibits federal agencies from pilfering water rights through the use of permits, leases, and other land management arrangements, for which it would otherwise have to pay just compensation under the 5th Amendment of the Constitution."[19]


In 2011, it was reported that he spent over $7,000 on vendors that did business with his nephew's company.[20] Also in 2011, Tipton wrote an apology letter to the House Ethics Committee after it became known that his daughter was using his name in an effort to secure government contracts from other Congressional offices. In 2012, he violated House rules when his office mistakenly used taxpayer resources to promote a campaign event.[21]

A super PAC, funded by oil and gas driller SG Interests, is registered at the address of Tipton’s campaign attorney and run by a law clerk in his office. Although it is a violation of election laws for super PACs and a candidate's campaign to coordinate their activities, Tipton's attorney said: “I have specifically put up Chinese walls to make sure Charlie (law clerk) is in no way involved with the Tipton campaign, and I’m in no way involved with the Colorado Future Fund.”[22]

Personal life

He and Jean Tipton have been married for over 30 years. They have two daughters, Liesl and Elizabeth.


  1. ^ "Colorado Statewide Cumulative Report - 2008 Primary Election". Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  2. ^ Editorial Board (17 October 2008). "Post's picks in Colorado's House of Representatives". Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  3. ^ Norris, Wendy; Bob Spencer (3 November 2008). "State candidate endorsement watch". Colorado Independent. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  4. ^ "Colorado Statewide Cumulative Report - 2008 General Election". Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  5. ^ Anderson, Emily (24 November 2008). "Jessica's Law bill gets state sponsors". Grand Junction Free Press. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Hanel, Joe (24 December 2008). "Rep. Tipton's issues include roads, sexual assault, education". Cortez Journal. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  7. ^ Mason, K.C. (7 January 2009). "Budget Woes Will Handcuff Colorado Legislature". Telluride Watch. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  8. ^ a b Capps, Reilly (12 January 2009). "Ahern may give it another go". Telluride Daily Planet. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  9. ^ "House Republican Committee Assignments Announced" (Press release). Colorado House Democrats. 18 November 2008. 
  10. ^ Harmon, Gary (2010-08-03). "Salazar-Tipton rematch a different contest".  
  11. ^ Greg Giroux (2009-11-09). "Tipton Joins Race Against Salazar". Roll Call. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  12. ^ Lawrence, Mike (2010-08-10). "Steamboat’s McConnell defeated in District 3, Scott Tipton wins GOP congressional primary, goes on to face Rep. John Salazar".  
  13. ^ "ATR Announces 1.3 Million Dollar Ad Buy in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District". 12 Oct 2012. Retrieved 30 Oct 2012. 
  14. ^ "Driller starts super PAC to support Tipton". 29 Oct 2012. Retrieved 30 Oct 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List". Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved November 30, 2011. 
  16. ^ Peter Roper (2011-04-09). "Tipton defends GOP approach". Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "H.R. 3189 - CBO". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Hudson, Audrey (11 October 2013). "Tipton Bill Seeks to Stop Feds from Trampling Water Rights". The Colorado Observer. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Colo. Rep. Tipton Facing Second Ethics Issue". 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  21. ^ Allison Sherry (2012-03-02). "Rep. Tipton violates House rules in promoting campaign event". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  22. ^ "Driller starts super PAC to support Tipton". Durango Herald. 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Salazar
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 3rd congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Steve Stivers
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Daniel Webster
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