Moffat County Commission candidate’s petition denied

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Rick Barnes

Rick Barnes, 45, a Republican candidate for Moffat County Commission’s District 2 seat, said Thursday he would continue to campaign for county office despite a recent setback.

Barnes, who announced his candidacy in January, decided to forego the assembly process and petition his way on to the June primary election ballot.

But, his petition has been denied, Moffat County Elections Supervisor Stephanie Beckett said.

“The computer beat me,” Barnes said. “But I’m not a quitter. I’ve already been told by my boss (wife Tami) that I can’t quit.”

To petition on to the GOP primary ballot, Barnes needed 463 signatures from registered Moffat County Republicans.

His deadline was April 2 and on that date Barnes submitted 549 signatures to Beckett.

But, 193 signatures were rejected and five were excluded, leaving Barnes 112 valid signatures shy of the required number.

It’s standard practice to confirm signatures through state voter registration and residency records, Beckett said.

The majority of the rejected signatures, 104 of them, were denied because they were not affiliated with the Republican Party.

“I introduced myself to people, told them who I was and what I was doing,” Barnes said. “I asked everyone if they were registered Republicans. … I guess it just comes down to whether people realize their information is updated or not.”

The remaining 89 signatures were rejected because residency info was incorrect or the names could not be found in state records, Beckett said.

Despite the unsuccessful attempt to petition on to the ballot, Barnes has options.

He can join a minor political party that doesn’t require candidates to go through the assembly or petition processes.

However, that’s not a road Barnes said he wants to take.

Instead, he plans to file an affidavit of intent to be a write-in candidate for November’s general election.

His deadline to file the affidavit is July 17. Any hope of making it on to the June primary ballot has passed, Beckett said.

“I’m still campaigning, still talking and still pushing my message,” Barnes said. “Whether I get elected or not doesn’t matter as long as the people are able to put someone in office who will do what they’re supposed to do because they (elected officials) work for us.

“At least they’re supposed to, anyway.”

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