The Republicans and Democrats of Moffat County are getting into gear for election season. The precinct caucuses for both parties will take place Tuesday and be an opportunity for voters to select delegates for the state assembly and their choose local candidates.
The State of the County brought in a health care guest speaker, city and county addresses and the Craig Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year awards Friday evening at the Clarion Inn and Suites. The keynote speaker, Steven Summers, president of the Colorado Hospital Association, explained the background of the Affordable Care Act and said that while certainly imperfect in its entirety and in the way it was made into law, it still was important to work on.
It’s the time of year for the county to take a look back to see how best to move forward. The annual State of the County, at 6 p.m. Friday at Clarion Inn and Suites, will host addresses by Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers and Mayor Terry Carwile, as well as keynote speaker, Steven Summers, president of the Colorado Hospital Association. The Craig Chamber of Commerce will also announce the recipients of the Business of the Year awards.
Moffat County Undersheriff Charlene Abdella on Tuesday announced her withdrawal from the Moffat County sheriff’s race. “I have taken time over the past week to reflect on my personal and professional goals and have determined that serving as an elected official is not going to be the next course for me,” Abdella said in a press release.
The Lincoln Day Dinner, a fundraiser for the Moffat County Republicans, provided several residents the opportunity to announce their bid for elected office. “We’re really excited to have so many people interested in serving the community,” said Brandi Meek, Moffat County chairwoman for the Colorado Republican executive committee.
When Colorado voters approved the sale of recreational marijuana, Maybell resident Kris Brannan was looking forward to growing the product and opening a retail pot shop and dispensary. It would be a far more profitable way to use her 300 acres than just growing alfalfa, she said. “There’s a huge economic benefit for us now in the marijuana industry. I get ten cents a pound on my hay out here in May, or I can make $4,000 a pound selling marijuana,” she said. “To me, as a farmer, I feel this is a huge economic advantage for all of us.”
Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz will not be running for Moffat County Commissioner in the November election. He posted an inquiry on his Facebook page earlier this month, asking people why they think he should run for commissioner. While he said he was “overwhelmed” by the show of support from his friends and the community, Jantz said he is opting out.
Linda Peters, chief deputy of the Moffat County Treasurer and Public Trustee office, announced her bid to run for county treasurer Monday. The current treasurer and public trustee, Elaine Sullivan, is nearing the end of her first term, and instead of running again, she plans to retire.
Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is campaigning for a U.S. Senate seat, and made a visit to Craig Friday afternoon. It was an opportunity for voters to get to know Buck and see his stance on national issues that could affect Northwest Colorado. Buck will be challenging Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) in the 2015 election. He was direct about his feelings on his opponent.
A mink farm that’s been under pressure in the past week was denied a conditional use permit by Moffat County commissioners at their Tuesday meeting. The farmers pursued the permit even after their farm was raided by an unidentified individual or group. The Moffat County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident. All of the farmers’ mink were set free in the raid, and although many were recaptured, all are useless as breeding stock. They can only be sold for their pelts. That decreases the price of the mink from more than $250,000 to about $10,000, the farmers said. In an anonymous e-mail, the Earth Liberation Front alleged it perpetrated the act and praised the individual or individuals who carried it out.
Two Hayden ballots that were not counted because there was something wrong with them, such as not being signed, will not affect the outcome of the Hayden School Board race nor will they trigger a recount.
Like the majority of Colorado communities, Moffat County voted by a landslide against the passage of Amendment 66. The outcome from Tuesday’s elections saw 77 percent of county voters, more than 3,000, cast their votes against the proposed legislation, which would have created a two-tiered tax increase intended to raise nearly $1 billion annually for the purpose of school funding across the state.