Tami Barnes, a candidate for the District 2 Moffat County Commission seat, is organizing a candidate forum next month in Dinosaur and invited all Moffat County candidates to attend.
But candidate responses have been limited, Barnes said.
Barnes, 45, who was eliminated from being placed on the Republican primary ballot earlier this month during the Mof-
fat County Republican Party County Assembly, said she has only received responses from three other candidates.
Tony St. John and Audrey Danner, both candidates for the commission District 2 seat, said they are uncertain about their attendance due to previous commitments.
Frank Moe, a candidate for the commission District 3 seat, said his attendance at the forum is also uncertain due to a family health matter.
The forum is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 15 at Dinosaur Town Hall. Each candidate will have 10 minutes to make a campaign presentation. The audience will have an opportunity to ask candidates questions.
The candidate forum is part of Barnes’ write-in campaign strategy, which she developed after county assembly delegates voted in favor of presenting St. John and Danner to voters on the August primary election ballot.
Candidates needed 26 delegate votes to be placed on August’s primary ballot. Barnes, who received seven votes, was the only candidate who attended the assembly and did not receive enough votes.
Despite being eliminated from the primary ballot, Barnes said her candidacy “hasn’t changed at all.”
“Moffat County has shown to me and my family they’re ready for new blood,” she said.
Since the assembly, Barnes said she has received continued support from Moffat County voters.
“After the (assembly), I had people calling me until 11 p.m. saying, ‘OK, what do we need to do now?’” she said.
Barnes has bolstered her campaign by building a website that will launch within the next few weeks and developing a “five-step plan” that outlines what she stands for as a candidate and how she plans to implement those beliefs, if elected.
Barnes has decided to focus her campaign on the outlying towns of Moffat County such as Dinosaur and Maybell.
Although she said she has support in Craig, Barnes said the key to her success is to target the county’s rural areas.
“Everybody needs to be fighting for Moffat County … it seems like the commissioners are only concerned about what happens in the city limits,” she said. “Moffat County doesn’t stop at the city limits and that is why I chose Dinosaur to have a town hall meeting.”
Barnes contends towns outside of Craig are often forgotten when it comes to political matters.
“They are being left out,” she said. “They have no clue … about what is going on. They need to be included in what is going on in this county. Their livelihoods depend on this county.”
Barnes isn’t only fighting for votes outside of Craig, she said, she is also fighting the perception she’s an “outsider” of the Moffat County political arena.
“Get to know me,” she said. “Get to know where I stand. The only reason I am an outsider is because that is where people want to place me.”
Barnes said she will continue to counter the notion she is an outsider by organizing more events like the Dinosaur meeting, fundraisers and “meet and greet” activities.
“I am still fighting for Moffat County and at the rate our elected officials are going, Moffat County is going to be a ghost town in 10 years,” she said. “I don’t want to see that happen.”
Another emphasis of her campaign is her “five-step plan,” which stresses increasing area tourism, boosting county revenue, maintaining government accountability and transparency, and keeping the U.S. Constitution in government.
She began to develop the plan as soon as she announced her candidacy at the Feb. 27 Lincoln Day dinner.
“I had to really fine tune it and make sure that it was something that I felt confident that I could do,” she said. “I mean I could sit here and spout things all day long, but if I’m not going to do it, I am not better than anybody else.”