Hampton to run for re-election

Current commissioner first to file for District 1 BOCC seat

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Moffat County Commissioner Les Hampton filed Thursday morning to run for re-election for the District 1 Board of Commissioners seat.

Hampton, a Republican, announced his intention to run during the Northwest Colorado Rural Issues Forum at Shadow Mountain Clubhouse Thursday morning.

Hampton is the first candidate to file for the seat. Sheriff's Deputy Michael Anthony has filed to run for the District 2 seat that second-term Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos will vacate at the end of the year due to term limits.

Many Republican candidates traditionally announce their intentions to run at the Lincoln Day dinner, Lila Herod, Moffat County chief deputy clerk, said. She expects to hear more candidacy announcement following that event on Feb. 27.

Hampton said deciding to run wasn't easy, considering the challenges and the time involved. But after much discussion with his wife, he decided it was the right thing to do.

"I look forward to continuing to serve Moffat County and appreciate the trust the people of the county have placed in me," Hampton said Thursday.

Hampton considers the county's public land use pilot plan and the Elkhead Reservoir expansion project as highlights of his term in office.

The land use plan was created to give the people who live near public lands a say in the way the land is governed, Hampton said.

Hampton said he has also been a player in the Elkhead Reservoir expansion project for the last eight years.

Both of these projects are due for implementation in 2004. Hampton said his continued participation is key to the success of these projects.

The commissioner board has been working with U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis on the Geographically Isolated Rural Veteran's Act of 2003. The bill seeks to make health care more accessible for veterans who live in rural areas. As a veteran, that's an important issue to Hampton.

"I think Moffat County has been a catalyst in the suggestion of the bill," he said. "It's important to veterans here and in other areas of Colorado and the country."

Hampton said he has spoken with one other individual who is interested in running for a commissioner set.

Stan Hathhorn, a vocal critic of the commissioners, said his group, the Concerned Citizens of Moffat County, will likely announce a candidate next week.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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