Moffat County GOP sheriff, clerk, surveyor candidates cruise into general election

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Tim Jantz

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Lila Herod

While some Moffat County Republican candidates had a nail-biting night Tuesday during the primary election, it was smooth sailing into November’s general election for three uncontested candidates.

Current Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz, county clerk and recorder candidate Lila Herod and county surveyor candidate Peter Epp each notched more than 2,000 votes as they were the sole GOP contenders for their respective positions.

They move on to the general election, and possibly into public office in January 2011. As of now, there are no Democratic or write-in challengers for the any county positions, save for Tami Barnes for Moffat County Commission, District 2.

Tuesday night belonged to Jantz, who secured more votes than any other county candidate on the primary ballot. The sheriff received 2,078 votes.

Despite having no opposition, Jantz campaigned like any other candidate leading up to the primary. He appeared at multiple candidate forums, participated in a Craig Daily Press online chat, and placed 30 to 40 yard signs around Moffat County touting his candidacy.

He also spent the majority of Tuesday night at the Moffat County Courthouse, awaiting results as they came in from various polling places.

The sheriff said he is taking his re-election bid — before the primary and after — seriously.

“I just don’t want people to perceive that I’m taking it for granted,” he said Thursday morning. “I’m still a candidate whether I’m opposed or not. … I’m still out there wanting feedback from the community. That hasn’t changed at all.

“If I lose touch with (the public), I lose touch with how the public wants us to go.”

Based on Tuesday’s results, the voting public agrees with the direction Jantz has taken the sheriff’s office since he was elected in 2006.

“It remains humbling,” Jantz said of the support he received Tuesday. “We’re working hard to be here and do the job the public has asked us to do.”

For Herod, a longtime Moffat County election official, the primary election represented the first time in nearly 20 years she hadn’t been working an election.

Herod, a candidate for county clerk and recorder, was prompted to resign from her position in April as the county’s chief deputy clerk and elections supervisor due to complications stemming from the federal Hatch Act.

She said she had an odd feeling Tuesday waiting for election results rather than tabulating them.

“I kind of felt a little lost because (working elections are) my thing,” she said.

Still, that feeling faded when her numbers came in — she received 2,056 votes, more than enough to move her into November’s general election.

“It feels just great having the support from the community,” Herod said Thursday.

She said her campaign leading up to November will resemble what it’s been so far — meeting and talking with the public about her candidacy and issues.

Herod is the likely successor to the term-limited clerk and recorder Elaine Sullivan. Sullivan won the Republican nomia-

tion Tuesday night for county treasurer, and is also unopposed.

Epp, the owner of Epp & Associates, Inc., conceded that his campaign didn’t involve much leading up to Tuesday. The surveyor position pays $3,300 a year, a salary that doesn’t warrant spending much on his campaign, he said.

Still, he said he is pleased with the election’s outcome. He is seeking to replace term-limited surveyor Lloyd Powers. He earned 2,073 votes for the position.

“I’m grateful to the citizens of Moffat County because I think a lot of times if it’s an unopposed (race), they don’t bother to mark it,” he said. “I’m very honored they would (vote for me).”

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