Longtime local Republican K.C. Hume took the reins Tuesday of the Moffat County Republican Central Committee from its previous chairman, John Ponikvar.
Sitting in front of more than 20 committee members after the committee’s election, Hume, who previously served as vice chairman of the party for four years, thanked Ponikvar for his service.
But, he also had a question for the departing chairman.
“Do you have the keys to the chairman’s car?” he said jokingly.
Hume, chief investigator for the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and a battalion chief for Craig/Fire Rescue, was the lone candidate for the position.
Moffat County resident Rick Barnes had previously shown interest in the chairman seat, but decided to step down and run for vice chairman upon learning Hume would run.
Barnes ran for the vice chairman position against Craig resident Randy Call. However, Call beat Barnes in the election after a 14-12 vote.
The central committee also elected Brandi Meek to continue serving as its secretary and Donna Malvitz to the treasurer position.
“I’m humbled (and) I’m honored with the support of the central committee and ultimately the Republican Party in Moffat County,” Hume said. “I look forward to the challenges and ultimately the successes I believe that we will obtain together over the course of the next two years and into the future.”
Hume said a substantial support system exists among the county’s Republicans.
“Although at times we may have differing view points and opinions, we are all from Moffat County and we all share a lot of the same values and ideologies,” he said.
Ponikvar had a few words to share about Hume in his last meeting as chairman of the party, a position he served for two years.
“As I leave here, I am really happy that K.C. is taking this over and (with) the four people that have stepped up,” he said. “I have known K.C. for a lot of years, he was probably a teenager when I first met (him), but … he is probably one of the most responsible individuals I know.”
Ponikvar said he also has more respect for the county’s elected officials after serving a term that included a major county and state election.
“In the end, you can’t please everybody, but you can live up to your values and your morals and if you go away saying you lived within those things, you did a good job,” he said.
Ponikvar said there were some regrettable things that happened during his time as chairman.
“One of the negative things was that I have very good friends and I offended some very good friends,” he said. “You know, that happens. For me, you talk about passion and I am very passionate about what I do, but I don’t take it personal.”
Lila Herod, Moffat County Clerk and Recorder, said Ponikvar went “above and beyond” in his two years as chairman.
“Many of you don’t know, but he gets bombarded every single day, whether it is the concerned citizens, members of the party, elected officials and he is always there answering every question,” Herod said. “You have had a very grueling year and we really appreciate what you have done.”
Call said he doesn’t have an agenda for his term as vice chairman.
“I am just there to support K.C. in whatever he asks me to do,” he said.
However, Call said he would like to see a younger crop of Republicans ushered in to the local committee.
“You look around the room and everybody’s my age,” he said. “My only thought is how to get some of the younger people in the community to be active and get them involved in the central committee and in the election process, from the caucuses on up.”
Barnes said although he lost the election, he would continue to work to foster more involvement from other Republicans in the political system.
“I’m going to keep going with what (I’ve got) going, I have just got to work with the committee to keep going what I’ve started,” he said. “It didn’t change anything. I started this even before I thought about being on the ballot and just because I lost tonight, I’m still involved.
“I ain’t giving up. I ain’t going nowhere.”
Brian Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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