Moffat County Undersheriff Charlene Abdella announced her bid to run for Moffat County Sheriff in the 2014 election on Tuesday.
“I would like the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Moffat County and do hereby announce my intent to run for the office of sheriff,” Abdella said in a statement.
That makes her the first woman to run for Moffat County Sheriff. Her undersheriff would be Lieutenant KC Hume.
Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said he wants to stay out of the politics of the race, but he sympathized with the challenges a candidate for any office faces in an election.
“It is a huge commitment to run for any office, county, state or federal,” he said.
Abdella officially filed the paperwork to enter the race on Nov. 13, and she made her announcement after letting her co-workers know.
The decision came shortly after term limit extension ballot measure for Sheriff failed this month. Jantz would’ve been able to run for a third term had the ballot measure passed.
“After the term limit extension failed and (Jantz) was not able to run again we were all very disappointed,” she said. “I wanted some continuity.”
In her statement she addressed the change that will be happening and her goal to maintain that continuity.
“Over the past seven years, the citizens of Moffat County and the employees of the Sheriff’s Office have been fortunate to have Sheriff Tim Jantz as their leader,” the statement said. Jantz “put his faith in me when he asked me to be his undersheriff, and I have learned a great deal during this time.”
Abdella will face challenges, but she doesn’t foresee her gender being one of them, she said. She is familiar with being the rare woman in a male-dominated workforce. Abdella already was the first female undersheriff in Moffat County.
“I’ve not really had any issue with that,” she said.
Yet, she hopes her run can inspire other women to pursue careers they might otherwise be intimidated by.
I hope this “helps other women try to achieve goals they think are outside their reach,” Abdella said.
Erin Fenner can be reached at 970-875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.