Results from the 2011 Craig mayoral race:
• Terry Carwile — 1,027 votes, or 63.63 percent
• Frank Moe — 587 votes, or 36.37 percent
Terry Carwile had a familiar feeling Tuesday night — the anticipation of election day results.
The 63-year-old mayoral candidate compared the feeling that sometimes goes along with learning one’s political fate to another activity.
“It is kind of like deer hunting when you see that nice big buck out there and your adrenaline starts flowing,” he said at the Moffat County Courthouse. “It is the same kind of physical reaction I get. It is sort of a rush. I’m definitely excited about it, but maybe that is my nature with the river rafting and everything I’ve done in my life.
“I’m a little bit of an adrenaline junkie.”
Carwile defeated challenger Frank Moe to become Craig’s new mayor. He received 1,027 votes, or 63.63 percent, to Moe’s 587 votes, or 36.37 percent.
Moe, who lost a bid for the Moffat County Commission in 2010’s Republican primary election, was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.
Carwile has served on the Craig City Council for six years and will be sworn in as mayor April 12 for a two-year term.
“I’m elated at the level of support,” Carwile said. “It shows that the community has recognized the amount of work that I have done for the last six years. I am humbled by the support.”
Despite losing two other elections — one in 2002 for the Colorado State House of Representatives and one in 2004 for the Moffat County Commission — Carwile said he wasn’t a person who “sits around and takes things as they come.”
“This is not my first election campaign — I’ve failed a couple of times,” he said. “I failed at the state level and failed to get elected as county commissioner. So, I mean it is difficult to say what the voters perceive as the difference.
“I would be inclined to think it would be my experience and my conscientious nature on the job. And, I think the work that I have done has born some results.”
Carwile said despite the mayor only having one of seven votes on the city council, the position is “the perceived leader of the community.” That’s something he said he doesn’t take lightly.
“I have always considered myself an ambassador for the community … and I work as hard as I can work to make people around the state take us seriously,” he said.
Carwile discovered local government was his “niche” after first being elected to the city council.
“As soon as I sat down with the first agenda packet and started researching what we were going to do, I thought, ‘This is where the rubber meets the road,’” he said. “These are the decisions that need to be made for the benefit of the community.”
However, Carwile contends he has work to do, particularly regarding the future of the city he has lived in since 1976. He said he wants to work to eliminate Craig’s cyclical, and often times rocky economy.
“When you examine Craig and Moffat County’s history, we have always confronted uncertainty,” he said. “I came here at the height of the boom in the mid ‘70s and in the early and mid ‘80s the economy tanked — interest rates were high, foreclosures all over the place. You know, that was definitely a time of great uncertainty. But the economy bounced back.”
Carwile said the city’s future, or at least part of it, could be found on the hills west of town, particularly with the recent expansion efforts of Colorado Northwestern Community College.
“We’ve heard (former mayor) Don (Jones) say it is even more important than the Craig Station (power plant) out there and I think in the long run, that may be born out,” he said.
When asked how it would feel to sit in the mayor’s chair next week, Carwile smiled. That’s a feeling he said he knows well from the times he filled in as mayor pro tem for Jones.
“You definitely have the reins,” he said of sitting in the mayor’s seat. “You can feel the ponies out there.”
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