Former Moffat County Commissioner vying for senate seat | CraigDailyPress.com

Former Moffat County Commissioner vying for senate seat

Ben McCanna

T. Wright Dickinson said he's considered a run for the state's Senate District 8 seat for a while.

"I'd anticipated that when Al White's term ended that I might run," Dickinson said. "(White's) transition to a new job just brought that on a little sooner."

White, R-Hayden, recently announced he was resigning his Senate post to lead the Colorado Tourism Office. He will assume tourism director duties Jan. 11.

Meanwhile, a vacancy committee formed to replace White will meet at 2 p.m. today at the Moffat County Courthouse to interview candidates for the remaining two years of White's term.

Dickinson, a Republican from Browns Park, is one of seven candidates who have expressed interest in the position.

The other candidates are Claudia Alexander, of Gyp­­sum; Jeff Fry, of Hayden; Bob McConnell, of Steamboat Springs; Kay Meyring, of Walden; Shannon Stowe, of Glenwood Springs; and Jean White, Al White's wife, of Hayden.

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Dickinson was a two-term Moffat County Commissioner. He was elected to the commission in 1994 and left office in January 2003.

"I've been involved in politics in Northwest Colorado and the Western Slope for a long time," Dickinson said. "I believe I've got the qualifications and ability to articulate the needs of our Senate district, and I look forward to doing that if that's the committee's choice."

Since leaving office in 2003, Dickinson said he's kept busy.

"I'm a partner in a family ranch, and I've been very active in water planning issues," he said. "I'm a gubernatorial appointment on the Interbasin Compact Committee … and I'm also on the Yampa-White-Green River Basin Roundtable, as the Green River representative."

Audrey Danner, a member of the Senate district's vacancy committee, said the list of seven candidates is strong and Dickinson is a worthy addition.

"T. Wright is a good, local candidate," she said. "He's provided strong leadership in Moffat County as a commissioner, and in various committees at the state level, including the IBCC, the statewide water committee."

Dickinson said if he is chosen for the Senate seat, his top priority will be jobs.

"First of all, we've got to get this state back to work — get folks jobs and keep the ones they have," he said.

Colorado House Bill 10-1365 — also known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act — is of particular concern, Dickinson said.

"The government shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers, especially in industries that are vital to our area," he said. "I've seen these fights in the past. I actually had a hand in mediating some of these issues between coal and gas when I was county commissioner back in the late '90s.

"So, we've seen a little of this before."

Danner said a new senator could be named as early

as today.

"That's the intent right now," she said.

Danner said the committee will begin today's meeting by fine-tuning the rules, such as setting time limits for candidates to make presentations.

Danner said Sen. White set a high standard for others to follow.

Candidates

Candidates vying for Eighth State Senate District seat:

• Claudia Alexander of Gypsum

• T. Wright Dickinson of Browns Park

• Jeff Fry of Hayden

• Bob McConnell of Steamboat Springs

• Kay Meyring of Walden

• Shannon Stowe of Glenwood Springs

• Jean White of Hayden.

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