Tami and Rick Barnes stand Thursday in front of the fireplace inside their home on Moffat County Road 174. Tami, a Republican, is running for the Moffat County Commission District 2 seat against incumbent Audrey Danner.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Tami and Rick Barnes stand Thursday in front of the fireplace inside their home on Moffat County Road 174. Tami, a Republican, is running for the Moffat County Commission District 2 seat against incumbent Audrey Danner.

Tami Barnes running for Moffat County Commission


Election calendar

• March 16 — Precinct Caucus Day

• April 10 — Republican County Assembly

• July 12 — Last day to register to vote for primary election

• July 31 — Early voting begins

• Aug. 3 — Last day to request mail-in ballots

• Aug. 6 — Last day for early voting

• Aug. 10 — Primary election

• Oct. 4 — Last day to register to vote for general election

• Oct.18 — Early voting begins

• Oct. 26 — Last day to request mail-in ballots

• Oct. 29 — Last day for early voting

• Nov. 2 — General election

Voter registration locations in Craig

• Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way

• Colorado Driver’s License office, 555 Breeze St.

• Moffat County Social Services building, 595 Breeze St.

• Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane.

Voting center locations

• Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way

• Hamilton Community Center, 17400 S. Colo. Hwy. 13

• Maybell Community Center, 103 Ellis St.

• Dinosaur Library, 400 W. School St.

Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Any Moffat County resident may vote at any of the county’s voting centers.

When asked why she wanted to run for the Moffat County Commission, Tami Barnes, 45, reached for a copy of the U.S. Constitution.

“It’s being taken out of everything that our government is doing,” she said. “They forgot that this is what made America, and Americans are what made America. Instead of the politicians asking what can we do for you, they’re telling us what we are going to do for them.”

Barnes, a Republican and chairwoman of the Moffat County Tea Party, announced her candidacy for the county commission Feb. 27 at the Moffat County Republican Central Committee Lincoln Day Dinner.

“If I had it my way, we’d go back to the 1800s when you knew where you stood,” she said. “Everybody went to the town hall meetings, everybody knew what was happening to their town and somehow, we’ve lost that.”

Barnes will be running against incumbent Audrey Danner, 57, for the District 2 seat.

“Moffat County needs a change in our government,” Barnes said. “I want to bring Moffat County citizens back into their county.”

Barnes said she stands for governmental transparency and accountability.

She contends state and federal government is not listening to local politicians.

“They have no clue as to how we live, work and they’re not listening to the people that we vote in who feel the same way we do,” she said.

As a longtime Colorado resident, Barnes feels her rural upbringing and attitudes are what is needed in government.

“If we brought our state representatives and our governor over here to follow any rancher or small-business owner around, they couldn’t do it,” she said. “They would have to go back to their cushy chairs.

“It’s time for people like me to get off the couch and make a stand in what I believe in.”

Barnes was raised in Steam­boat Springs and ran a construction company in North Carolina, where she learned “to do whatever it takes.”

“I did it, whatever it took, if we were shorthanded, I’d put a hammer in my hand,” she said. “You have to do what it takes to get something done. You can’t just lie down in the middle of it and say ‘I don’t want to do this’ and think someone is going to come along and do it for you.

“That seems to be where our government is going now, too. Everybody seems to be getting tired of fighting for their rights and they think someone else is going to come along and do a better job than them.”

Barnes lives with her husband, Rick, a few miles from Craig. They have a small cattle ranch, which she helps operate. She credits her husband with getting her involved in politics.

“This last election was the first time I ever voted,” she said. “Nothing ever mattered to me before. What changed was what I was hearing. I was hearing one thing but (politicians) were talking out the other side of their mouths.

“Thank God my husband opened my eyes to what was really going on. That’s when I decided that while I may only be one person, but my vote counts.”

The Barnes are a politically passionate couple and Tami said Rick considered running for commission, but because of his more than 40-hour a week job, he “just wouldn’t have the time.”

Although her husband is a big political influence on her, Barnes said she would use her own best judgment when making decisions.

Barnes said she wants to make several changes to the commission.

“The government needs to be for the county and not for themselves,” she said. “They need to stop worrying about federal money and what loopholes we are going to have to jump through. All that’s going to do is take away from our local businesses.

“Sure, we need federal money, but we don’t need to be jumping through hoops and cutting our arms off to get the federal money.”

In addition, Barnes would like to see the commission host a monthly night meeting to boost attendance. She also wants the commissioners to have some night office hours in an attempt to be more open to constituents.

Allthough this is Barnes’ first time running for public office, she sees it as an opportunity rather than a hindrance.

“I haven’t been involved with government long, but I have been involved with the small, working man,” she said. “We all need to put food on our table and roofs over our heads.

“Yeah, Audrey has been doing this job for a year, but she hasn’t really been doing this job for a year. She is good at doing the technical end and doing the research, but as far as reaching out and listening to the people, she’s not.”

Danner could not be reached for comment Thursday.


Sage_Sam 7 years, 1 month ago

“If I had it my way, we’d go back to the 1800s when you knew where you stood,” she said.

Well, she would certainly know where she stood back then, and it likely wouldn't be in a line to vote. Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote in 1869, Colorado followed 14 years later and the 19th Amendment wasn't ratified until 1920.

Also, politicians calling on American's to take greater ownership in their government and work harder at providing for the collective good isn't something new. A fella said it best in 1961 with:

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."


Cole White 7 years, 1 month ago

I am a republican but I am not as far to the right as Tami is. If you listen to most of the syndicated radio talk show hosts who are on the same par as the Barnes, you find that they are so hardcore conservative that if a Dem were to say that Ice cream tasted better than dog crap they would argue to the death that dog crap was infact better tasting than Ice Cream. Rand, Rush, and Bob never listen to an ounce of reason on their radio shows and go nuts over the stupidest things if a liberal makes a statement about anything. Tami will go so far to the right that she'll fail to listen to reason if it goes against the "core" party values. Core party values are only good for the party and not for the people they are suppose to represent.


Vermillion 7 years, 1 month ago

Sage_Sam makes a very good point. In addition, in the 1800's women couldn't were considered to be the property of their husband and couldn't own property in their own name. We had slavery and blacks were considered 3/5ths of a human for purposes of allocating seats in the House of Representatives. The native americans still controlled Colorado in the early 1800s. I'm not sure that I want to go back to the way things were in the 1800's.


DONTTREADONME 7 years, 1 month ago

Sage_Sam and Vermillion, You 2 are missing the point tami was making with that statement, The goverment was not in your life the the way they are now, Families took care of them selves and did not need the Gov. taking care of them, The people went to town hall meetings to voice their opinions and came to A mutual agreement of what wasbest for THEIR community not D.C. telling them what was best for them. Highway1340, If you dont know Tami how can you make the comment that she is so far right She wont listen to A Democrat. This is for all 3 of you if you have A question for Tami call we are in the phone book or if you dont have one the number is 824-6991, so please call. As far as how Right she is, Limited Gov., Limited spending, Limited TAXES, If you take an Oath to Protect the USA against foriegn or domestic enimies and uphold the Constitution THATS what it means. She will listen too ANYONE Rep.,Dem.,Ind., it doesnt matter.


cowgirl 7 years, 1 month ago

If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always gotten. Maybe it is time to stop doing what we have always done. Republican or Democrat, it is what we have always done. To get a change we may just have to change. I am willing to give the Tea Party a try. Or at least sit down with Mrs. Barnes and maybe learn something.


westslopeguy 7 years, 1 month ago

Looking for a viable alternative to business as usual? Take a look at the Libertarians. They're not ALL fringe fanatics.


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