A new contender has surfaced in hopes of taking the reins of the Moffat County Republican Central Committee.
K.C. Hume, chief investigator for the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and a battalion chief for Craig/Fire Rescue, recently announced his decision to run for the position currently held by Craig resident John Ponikvar.
Ponikvar, who replaced former chairman Ron Danner in 2009, said he only wanted to be the chairman for one, two-year term before stepping away when first elected. Ponikvar said he no longer has the time to dedicate to being the chairman between running his own business and his personal life.
The Republican Central Committee will host its election for the executive committee at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Holiday Inn of Craig, 300 S. Colo. Hwy. 13.
Four committee positions are up for grabs, Ponikvar said, including chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and secretary.
The election will include all members of the committee including elected officials and precinct chairs, Ponikvar said.
Nominations will be made by a previously formed committee and can also be taken from the floor on election night.
The 43-year-old Hume served as vice chairman of the committee for four years and prior to that was the committee’s treasurer.
“I have served in several capacities within the Republican Central Committee and the timing appears appropriate for me to submit my name for consideration for the position of chair,” Hume said.
Moffat County resident Rick Barnes previously said he would seek the nomination for the chair position. However, Barnes said he decided to step down and run for vice chairman, considering Hume’s announcement.
“I knew I wouldn’t be able to win that position, so I stepped down to the vice chair, which will give me more experience anyways for the upper position later on if I want to go for it again,” Barnes said.
Hume said politics has always been part of his life.
“I have been raised as a Republican,” he said. “My parents were both Republicans (and) I have been involved in the Republican Party since I was old enough to vote.”
He said he would be able to juggle his other commitments in addition to being chairman, if elected.
“It is all about finding that balance,” he said.
“I didn’t take this on lightly. I had discussions with my family and looked at my other commitments and responsibilities and determined that I could address all of those to a satisfactory level to include this position if I am successful.”
Barnes said he still wants to recruit “new blood” into the Republican Party if elected as vice chair and hopes to bring change into the committee.
“After last year’s election, this system broke and we as Colorado and Moffat County citizens need to get involved or else the same things will happen again,” he said. “The old guard is no longer working. Some may call me an extremist, some not extreme enough. But, win or lose, I am getting involved instead of whining at the TV or the radio.”
However, Barnes will be running against Craig resident Randy Call for the vice chairman position.
Call, the city’s road and bridge department director, said he had previously served as vice chair for two years under Danner.
“I just decided I’d get back in there and help a little bit more,” he said.
Call said he has been a member of the central committee for about 20 years.
“I think it inspires me to stay active and it’s a little easier than being the chair,” he said. “It keeps me involved.”
Call said he hasn’t set any specific goals he would like to work on if elected, but said he would like to “activate” the community’s Republicans.
“I would like to see more of them get involved,” he said. “There is a lot of registered Republicans that aren’t involved and a percentage of them that don’t even vote.”
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