Democrats back candidates unanimously

The local Democratic Party held its county assembly Saturday night, voting unanimously to support its local and state candidates and several resolutions.

The Moffat County Democratic Party voted as one to support Don Kroese for Moffat County sheriff, Terry Carwile for state House District 57 representative, Rollie Heath for governor and Tom Strickland for U.S. senator. The 16 delegates to the county assembly also voted to keep Tim Christensen party chairman, Dr. Andre Huffmire as vice chairman and Beverly Chapman as secretary.

"The party is very united for these races," Christensen said.

Candidate Terry Carwile made some comments to the gathered party members concerning chronic wasting disease, education funding and growth issues.

"The chronic wasting disease situation is a quality-of-life issue," Carwile said. "This area is deeply involved with the hunting industry, and the essence of the whole operation going on now is eradication. It's a scorched earth policy they're killing every animal in a five-mile radius around the Mother Well Ranch.

"They've killed over 400 animals, with five positive results. What we need instead is to accelerate the research to get an effective testing facility, a mobile testing facility for our area. We need to get a handle on the issue rather than killing every last animal."

Carwile also stressed the importance of "smart growth" properly planning for population growth that will require adequate water, landfill space, and waste disposal service.

"In the last large growth in this area in the mid- to late '70s, it was chaos," he said. "People were camping by the river because there was insufficient housing. We had zoning discrepancies, we had code problems we need competent management of growth."

Carwile said he favors the use of "local resources" in determining how effective schools are, not the results of standardized testing through the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP).

He pointed out that the Moffat County School District has at least two teachers with doctorates and several with master's degrees. These professionals should have a large part in how the school district operates, he said, adding that the CSAP-centered system is "an unwarranted level of centralization."

Several resolutions were also passed. The delegates voted to support Colorado House Bill 1410 a bill dealing with statewide standards for concealed weapon permits. They also voted to make a statement against connecting tax dollars for education with CSAP results and to reiterate the need for initiatives dealing with prescription drug prices and balanced environmental laws.

A six-person vacancy committee for Moffat County positions which will be responsible for finding a replacement for a successful candidate should that candidate not be able to complete his term was created.

Representatives from the county Democratic Party will be sent to Denver for the statewide assembly on May 31 and June 1. They are Terry Carwile and Tim Christensen.

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