Write-in veteran Kroese joins sheriff race

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While the race for the next Moffat County Commissioner is looking more and more like a one-man affair, the plot is beginning to thicken in the race for sheriff.

Don Kroese, a sheriff's candidate in 1998 and 2002, filed an affidavit Monday morning to run as a write-in candidate on the November ballot. His entry makes the race for sheriff a three-way contest among Kroese, Republican primary winner Tim Jantz and Independent Vic Alton.

Both Jantz and Alton are veterans of the sheriff's office.

Kroese, who works for Forbes Certified Welding, has no law enforcement background. He said he chose to run because he thinks the sheriff's office is in need of a new perspective.

"I'd like to see lots of people get out and vote," Kroese said. "Another candidate might get voters to come out. I'm trying to help the county. I feel that I can make a difference."

Kroese has lived in Moffat County for 18 years and said that in the previous campaigns he "really went door to door." He estimates he visited nearly 3,500 homes in each campaign.

Kroese has run for sheriff two other times.

In 1998, he ran as a write-in candidate against Buddy Grinstead, and finished 135 votes short of becoming sheriff.

During his 2002 bid, Kroese ran on the democratic ticket, and lost to Grinstead by 457 votes.

Jantz defeated current Under--sheriff Jerry Hoberg in the Republican primary election on Aug. 8 to earn the party's nomination. Alton petitioned his way onto the ballot as an independent candidate.

With the filing of the affidavit on Monday, the write-in line on the sheriff's portion of the ballot becomes valid for Kroese's name to be entered by voters. His name will not appear on the ballot.

Kroese has 10 days to fill out expenditure and contribution reports required of all candidates.

In addition to filing on Monday, Kroese also met the additional requirement for all sheriff candidates -- he filed his fingerprints.

There is no cost to become a write-in candidate for any of the elected positions that will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Today is the last day for write-in candidates to file their intent to run affidavits at the clerk and recorders office in the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way. The office closes at 4:45 p.m.

In the commissioners race, as of late Monday, no one had filed to oppose Craig businessman and former county commissioner Tom Mathers, who won the Republican nomination in August and appears to have a clear path to office.

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