Candidates for Moffat County Commission District One John Kinkaid, left, and Dave DeRose, right, debate during Thursday’s candidate debate hosted by the Craig Daily Press at J.W. Snack’s.

Photo by Mary Austin

Candidates for Moffat County Commission District One John Kinkaid, left, and Dave DeRose, right, debate during Thursday’s candidate debate hosted by the Craig Daily Press at J.W. Snack’s.

DeRose, Kinkaid debate issues at JW Snacks

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“I don’t think it’s just about the city and the county. I think it’s about the county, the school board, the fire board, the college board, and all of the different elected and appointed officials sitting down at least semi-annually to talk about how we keep Moffat County progressing as a community.”

Dave DeRose, Republican for Moffat County Commission District 1, about improving relations between city and county elected officials

It was a festive atmosphere Thursday night, but the mood was no less tense as numerous state and local candidates participated in an evening of debates at JW Snacks in Craig.

The night began with a faceoff between Republican Dave DeRose and unaffiliated candidate John Kinkaid,, who are vying for Moffat County Commission’s District 1 seat.

Bryce Jacobson, editor and publisher of the Craig Daily Press, served as moderator for the debate.

The questions focused on local issues pertaining to economic development, natural resources, energy, governance and county relations.

DeRose, owner of Masterworks Mechanical and a former City of Craig mayor, said there is much more than a perceived disconnect between city and county elected officials.

“In 2002 when I was a member of city council we held a thing called the Moffat Allied Growth Initiative and brought together the Moffat County commissioners at the time, the hospital board and the school board to discuss what we believed needed to happen in Craig,” he said. “I don’t think it’s just about the city and the county.

“I think it’s about the county, the school board, the fire board, the college board and all of the different elected and appointed officials sitting down at least semi-annually to talk about how we keep Moffat County progressing as a community.”

Kinkaid, a control room operator at Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station, said back in February he jumped into the race to advocate for Moffat County’s energy industry.

Since the Vermillion Basin one percent drilling compromise was overruled by the Bureau of Land Management’s federal office, the current county commission decided to seek legal counsel to investigate the viability of a lawsuit.

Kinkaid pledged to follow through on that action if elected in November.

“That’s something I’m passionate about,” Kinkaid said. “I think the (Moffat County) Land Use Board has made the correct recommendation and I wholeheartedly support furthering legal action against the Department of the Interior.

“Just so you know, we cannot get rid of Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar soon enough.”

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

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