The Moffat County caucus of Club 20, one of the largest and most influential political groups on the Western Slope, re-elected a familiar face as its voting representative.
A re-election bid by Saed Tayyara, a Moffat County commissioner, was a success. He ran unopposed and won an additional term by unanimous vote during the caucus's meeting Wednesday night at the Holiday Inn.
This marks the fourth time Tayyara has served as a voting representative for the club. He called Club 20 an important tool in protecting and representing Western Slope interests.
"Energy, economic development, agriculture -- you name any issue, and it's discussed," Tayyara said. "It's the only organization that doesn't have government control."
Club 20, an organization that bills itself as "the voice of the Western Slope since 1953," is comprised of counties, organizations, individuals and associations from 22 counties and 45 towns in western Colorado. The group is designed with the intent of speaking in a unified voice on issues of mutual concern.
Each county caucus elects one member to the board of directors, which adopts Club 20 policies. The group then lobbies state and national legislators on behalf of those policies.
Executive director Reeves Brown said the group's importance is measured in the number of resources found west of the Continental Divide. Club 20 officials said 70 percent of the state's water, most ski areas, 60 percent of national forests, more than half of the 14,000-foot peaks, and 40 percent of the state's land area are on the Western Slope.
Yet, the region represents 11 percent of the state's population.
"Most of the interest is on that side," said Reeves, who's based out of the Grand Junction office, "and most of the values are over on this side."
He said the group succeeds by providing a platform for a variety of interests. Club 20 committees are organized in areas such as public lands, water, tourism, telecommunications, higher education and health care.
"It's a collection of a lot of different influences," Reeves said. He added, "That's the magic of this organization -- to bring a diverse group of interests together."
The caucus also elected two alternate voting directors Wednesday.
Alternate Bob Johnson was re-elected to an additional term. Terry Carwile, chairman of the Moffat County Democratic Party, was elected to replace alternate T. Wright Dickinson.
Dickinson did not attend the meeting but had asked to be re-elected as a voting representative alternate.
Club 20 members are sched----uled to visit state legislators Jan. 17 and 18 in Denver, and Congressional leaders and representatives in April in Washington.