“This is a pretty huge gamble taking a month off from work. If today was any indication of how busy it’s going to be I feel good I made the right decision.”
— John Kinkaid, unaffiliated candidate for Moffat County Commission’s District 1 seat, about taking October off from work to concentrate on his campaign.
On Tuesday one of the races for Moffat County Commissioner took an interesting turn.
With just 34 days until the November general election John Kinkaid, 59, unaffiliated candidate for Moffat County Commission’s District 1 seat, announced in a news release he would not return to his post at Craig Station as a control room operator, opting instead to dedicate the entire month of October to his campaign.
And just three days into the month Kinkaid said there’s been no shortage of activities to occupy his time.
“This is a pretty huge gamble taking a month off from work,” Kinkaid said Tuesday night. “If today was any indication of how busy it’s going to be I feel good I made the right decision.”
Kinkaid outlined several issues he plans to address if elected in November, including Sage Grouse, the economy, potential legal action against the Bureau of Land Management’s federal office over banned mineral development in the Vermillion Basin, hiring a new Moffat County Department of Social Services director and keeping a vigilant watch of the upcoming legislative sessions at the state and federal levels, among others.
“It is for these reasons and many others I’m announcing today that I am taking the month of October off from work in order to campaign full-time for the Moffat County Commissioner District 1 seat,” Kinkaid said in the release. “I will be traveling all over the county during the entire month in order to visit with voters and ask for their support.
“I want to give voters the opportunity to get to know me and what I stand for face to face. I also want to listen to voters. God gave us two ears and only one mouth for a reason.”
Kinkaid’s opponent, Dave DeRose — owner of Masterworks Mechanical and a former City of Craig mayor — said Tuesday he does not have the luxury of taking the month off and would continue to report to work to protect the jobs of his employees.
DeRose said he and Kinkaid probably share similar views on some of the issues, including keeping Sage Grouse off the endangered species list and boosting economic activity in Moffat County, but questioned why Kinkaid has not attended any of the last four Land Use Board meetings if the Vermillion Basin is so high on his list of priorities.
In addition DeRose said being a county commissioner extends beyond simply keeping an eye on state and federal legislators, it’s about building relationships with those elected officials.
“2013 legislative sessions are certainly important, but we cannot stay on top of those unless we have a commissioner at every one of those legislative sessions, unless we have a relationship with legislators who will bring us in we need to be brought in and we have not garnered those kinds of relationships of late,” DeRose said. “I’ll tell you if we were doing our job we would have known about HB10-1365 (Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act) before it was ever talked about on the floor of the House or the Senate.”
At 7 p.m. Thursday Kinkaid and DeRose will air their positions during a Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots candidate forum at the Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave.
They’ll get the chance to do it again at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11 during a debate at J.W. Snacks, 210 E. Victory Way.
Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.