Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, will be making a campaign stop Tuesday morning in downtown Craig.

Denver Post/Courtesy

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, will be making a campaign stop Tuesday morning in downtown Craig.

Mitt Romney … meet Craig, America

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A sign welcoming Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sits Friday inside Pam Design Interiors at 512 Yampa Ave.

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courtesy

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney shakes hands with supporters following a May 9 campaign stop near the field office of K.P. Kauffman Co., a privately owned oil and gas company in Fort Lupton. Romney is scheduled to return to Colorado on Tuesday, and appear for a public event at 9 a.m. at Alice Pleasant Park in Craig.

Local officials comment on GOP contender's upcoming visit

“I’m glad to hear it, that he’s taken an interest in stopping by, and I’d be interested in going and seeing what he has to say.”

— Joe Bird, Craig City Council member

“It’s exciting for the community. I don’t think we typically see a presidential candidate make a pit stop or an appearance in a small community like this. … I think it’ll be a great thing for the community. I hope he gets an excellent turnout.”

—Terry Carwile, Craig mayor

“I think it’s really unique, obviously. I mean, for us to have that, we should probably feel kind of — I wouldn’t say blessed, but it’s nice they come here. Obviously, Craig’s a small town that’s affected by energy and has been for years, so it’s a good stop for him. I think it’s neat. It’ll be an experience we’re going to see once in a lifetime, probably. … I think everybody’s looking forward to it.”

— Byron Willems, Craig City Council member

“I think that it’s very exciting that Craig is getting a visit by one of the presidential nominees. I know when he comes to Craig he will find he has a lot of support here. That should feel really good to him and his campaign leaders. Hopefully our community … gives him a positive response and asks him great questions and gets answers.”

— Jennifer Riley, Craig City Council member

“I’m glad that he’s coming to this part of Colorado and not just the (Front Range). I’m looking forward to the campaign. … I wish I knew a little bit more where he stood on a few issues, so I’ll be listening close.”

— Tom Gray, Moffat County Commission chairman

“I think it’s phenomenal. … And it’s always a benefit to our area to get anybody in a position of power to understand how our energy industry works because I think our energy producers reflect very positively on the industry. And it’s great when other people can say, ‘Look, here’s a power plant that burns coal cleanly, these are mines that have a very high standard for reclamation and understanding the environmental impact of what they do.’”

— Christina Oxley, Craig Chamber of Commerce executive director

Frank Moe, owner of Deer Park Inn and Suites in Craig, sent Mitt Romney's presidential campaign a video earlier this year produced by Energy America.

The video, titled "The Perfect Storm Over Craig, Colorado," highlighted the community's economic dependence on the energy industry.

Along with the video was an invitation from Moe to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to visit Craig.

"We (thought) this would be a good place for him to make the point that he is (in favor of) all forms of energy," Moe said.

On Thursday, Romney staffers called Moe and said the campaign was considering Craig as a campaign stop.

The trip was booked Friday. Romney spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said the former Massachusetts governor will appear for a public event at 9 a.m. Tuesday downtown.

It's believed the location will be Alice Pleasant Park.

Additional details of the visit could be released this weekend, Pompei said.

"When the Romney campaign called us, tears rushed over us because now Craig has the opportunity to tell its story to the entire nation," an emotional Moe said Friday night. "We all need to stand up and make our voices heard that energy can be done and done right."

Craig City Manager Jim Ferree said he and Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta are scheduled to meet with Secret Service agents today to discuss the pending visit.

Two members of the Romney team are currently in Craig preparing for the event, Ferree said.

The local visit won't be without its challenges.

"They're looking to set up in Alice Pleasant Park, which presents some logistical concerns with Grand Olde West Days wrapping up Monday and closing down the highway, but we're going to work through it and make it happen," Ferree said. "This is a good thing for the town and for Moffat County."

Ferree said a section of North Colorado Highway 13, likely between Victory Way and Sixth Street, would be closed early Tuesday morning, and the Department of Social Services parking lot may also be closed off.

The city will also provide police officers for crowd control and to assist Secret Service.

Other city employees will also help direct traffic.

The visit, Ferree said, will be costly for the city, primarily in employee overtime.

But, the potential cost doesn't dampen the enthusiasm many elected officials and residents have for the visit.

"I believe it's important for Moffat County citizens to understand the impact they can have when a presidential candidate will come to our community," Moffat County Commissioner Audrey Danner said. "I hope people turn out on Tuesday morning, listen to what he has to say and tell our story.

"Our story revolves around the effects potential changes to the health care system will have on our small businesses and the federal push to have coal replaced by natural gas. Those are two critical issues to small and large businesses, and citizens paying their electric bill."

Sari Cobb is the owner of Cornerstone Realty Ltd., in downtown Craig, a short distance from Alice Pleasant Park.

She said Friday she's thrilled to have Romney appearing in town, and so close to her business.

"I think it's awesome," Cobb said. "I think it's wonderful that he's coming out and he's talking to the smaller communities and this is not just a Denver or (Front Range) thing.

"I don't know that it will have a long-term impact, but I think it validates who we are. … I just think it does something for our community, and every little thing like that helps."

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Comments

Colette Erickson 1 year, 10 months ago

Hope he doesn't have the family dog in a crate tied to the roof of the campaign bus.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 10 months ago

If Obama ever visits, I hope he doesn't have the family dog working its way through the Presidential colon.

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Colette Erickson 1 year, 10 months ago

Awww, c'mon, Brian. Educate yourself, if possible.

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Taxpayer 1 year, 10 months ago

And can you believe some of the people selected as leaders of our community - what a farce!

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jeff corriveau 1 year, 10 months ago

Am I surprised in Tom Gray's comments? NOT! I mean he's only a two term Republican County Commissioner and he doesn't know where the (presumptive) Republican Presidential candidate stands on the issues!!!! How does a person like that even get elected Commissioner in the first place???

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 10 months ago

A potted plant would be an improvement over Barack Obama.

Worst. President. Of my lifetime. Quite an achievement, as I never anticipated Jimmy Carter would ever be eclipsed in that regard.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 10 months ago

A vote for Ron Paul is a wasted one, and increases the likelihood of the President's re-election.

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haveathought 1 year, 10 months ago

Mitt looks a little confused in the photo. "Why am I going to Craig"?

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Denise Bagley 1 year, 10 months ago

Brian-- I agree. Voting for Ron Paul is the same as taking a vote from Romney. Ron Paul is not going to win, so why bother; you might as well cast your vote for Obama.

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jmed 1 year, 10 months ago

Well, I will always vote the way I see it fit. If everyone thinks that just voting for Ron Paul is taking away a vote from Romney then what would happen if all those people actually voted for Ron Paul? Could it be or would it be possible that Ron Paul would win? Hmmm, what a concept. You should go back to your flocks and tell the rest of the media sheeple that there would be a chance. Ron Paul is taking a ton of delegates lately and GOP chairs.

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Jason Phillips 1 year, 10 months ago

"Tears rushed over us."

For a campaign stop?

Ok, Frank Moe, settle down. He's a politician, not the savior.

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haveathought 1 year, 10 months ago

I agree a bit with jmed. The reason our political system is nonviable is because there are only two parties. We need a third party to have a more rounded system. Nobody is all Democrat or all Republican. There are more choices out there and we need to vote for them. As for Mitt-- If we are able to ask questions, then I hope we challenge him and not just stroke his agenda.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 10 months ago

jmed:

I'm glad you're happy to reside out there on the fringe. It means you've exculded yourself any meaningful national policy decisions.

From Washington-Obama, this country has never elected a President from anything other than one of the two major parties. Ever. The reasons for that have principally to do with the differeces between the two main electoral systems employed by Western representative republics: single-member district pluralities, and proportional representation. It's probably too much to expect Paulians to know which of those is used here, let alone the realities it imposes.

In all of American history, Roosevelt posted the best 3rd-party Presidential election results, garnering 27.4% of the popular vote in 1912. Ross Perot won 18.9% in 1992, and George Wallace 13.5% in 1968.

The only time Ron Paul appeared on all 50 General Election Presidential ballots (in 1988), he won 0.47% of the popular vote. THERE'S an electoral juggernaut for ya.

So I encourage you to write Paul on your November ballot. Support for that nutcase is so anemic, you will have no impact on the election and exert zero influence on the direction of the country.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 10 months ago

jmed:

Romney locked up the nomination last night. Only John Huntsman has fewer delegates than Ron Paul. What is it you see Paul doing with his 129 delegates - now that Romney has 1183?

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