Schutt to run for north-valley seat

Gunnison Country Times, Thursday, March 22, 2018
Chris Rourke
Times Staff Writer
https://www.gunnisontimes.com/content/gop-hopeful-emerges-bocc

A race has materialized for the Gunnison County Commission seat representing the north end of the valley. Bob Schutt announced this week his candidacy.
Schutt, a Republican, is an orthopedic surgeon working part-time at Alpine Orthopedics. He made Crested Butte his full-time home in 2013 after a lengthy career in Texas.

The county’s District 3 covers land north of Round Mountain. The seat is currently held by second-term Republican Phil Chamberland, who is not seeking re-election.

Schutt likely will face Democrat Roland Mason, a former Crested Butte town councilman. While candidates must live within District 3, the commissioner seat is chosen by all Gunnison County voters.

Delegates to the GOP county assembly on Tuesday formally voted for Schutt as the Republican candidate to run for the commissioner seat. Democrats are expected to do the same for Mason March 28.

In 2016, Schutt mounted an unsuccessful challenge of popular Democrat Millie Hamner in Colorado’s House District 61. When asked why he was interested
in running for County Commissioner, Schutt responded, “I think it is the right thing to do for Gunnison County.”

In a statement issued Monday, Schutt said he is most interested in protecting natural resources for future generations, promoting small business and providing employment and housing opportunities.

“I understand the need for more employee housing and starter homes for our locals,” Schutt said. “We must understand the demand for housing, the expense, and impact. Careful planning is necessary to maintain the character of the valley while balancing the needs of businesses and locals.”

Schutt graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and served as an F-4E combat fighter pilot during Vietnam. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and six Air Medals. He was a reservist in the Gulf War and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal awarded by the Department of the Army. He retired from the U.S. Army reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Schutt attended Texas Tech University School of Medicine and completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Colorado. He also attended Harvard University where he studied business, and later served as chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Texas Tech University School of Medicine.

“I managed the budget, personnel, oversaw research, clinical practice, education of resident physicians and medical students as well as the operation of a Level 1 trauma center,” he said.

Schutt is a member of the Crested Butte Rotary and serves on the board of the Crested Butte Music Festival and as a trustee for Gunnison Valley Health. He said one of his goals in public service is to advocate for accessibility and affordability of quality health care for all citizens.

Schutt has been married for 47 years, has three children and six grandchildren. He has owned a home in the Gunnison Valley since 1985.

(Chris Rourke can be contacted at 970.641.1414 or at chris.rourke@gunnisontimes.com.)