Moffat County candidate eliminated |

Moffat County candidate eliminated

G.I. Buffham fails to collect enough signatures for primary ballot

Brian Smith

G.I. Buffham

Although the Aug. 10 primary election is several weeks away, a Moffat County candidate has been eliminated.

G.I. Buffham, 75, a Republican candidate for county surveyor, chose to bypass the caucus process and petition his way onto the primary ballot.

But, he came up short on signatures for his petition.

Buffham filed his signatures Thursday with the county elections department. He collected 40 valid signatures, but needed 892 total to be placed on the primary ballot.

On Tuesday, Buffham said he was "leaning toward dropping out of the race," but that he hasn't fully decided. He is allowed to drop his Republican affiliation and run as a write-in candidate in November's general election.

Buffham filed candidate papers March 3. It was his second bid for surveyor.

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He also ran in 2008 as a write-in candidate. He lost to current surveyor Lloyd Powers, whose term is expiring.

Buffham said he thought petitioning onto the ballot would be a more successful route to being elected than going through the caucus process.

"My experiences with caucuses hadn't been so good, so I didn't want to go that route," he said. "The ones I went to for other offices, (the delegates) seemed they … pretty well had their minds made up before they ever went to it."

The 892 signatures Buffham needed to be placed on the ballot stemmed from an issue with Powers' term as county surveyor.

Powers was appointed in 2002 and then was a write-in candidate in 2004. He then petitioned onto the ballot for re-election in the general election in 2008 as an unaffiliated candidate.

Because Powers ran in the general election, Buffham's required number of signatures was based on 20 percent of the votes cast for surveyor in that election.

"The amount of signatures required was unreal," Buffham said.

Buffham's elimination leaves Peter Epp, 61, a Craig resident since 1973 and owner of Epp Associates, as the only Republican surveyor candidate on the primary ballot.

Epp filed his candidate papers Jan. 27. This is his first time seeking public office.

Robert Razzano, 49, a Republican candidate for county assessor, also chose to petition onto the ballot.

His results were different than Buffham's, however.

Razzano filed 510 valid signatures, cementing his place on the primary ballot.

He needed 361 signatures from registered Moffat County Republicans.

Nineteen of Razzano's signatures weren't accepted by the elections department because they were from people who were not registered Republicans, signed the petition twice, or gave incorrect information.

Razzano needed to collect 20 percent of the total votes cast in the 2006 primary election to be placed on the primary ballot.

Razzano said he received positive feedback from residents who signed his petition.

"You see a little bit more support going door-to-door and actually talking to the people," he said.

"But, you don't know how people feel until they vote."

Razzano said he will soon start campaigning with newspaper and radio advertisements, mailers and by going door-to-door.

Razzano filed his candidate papers March 26 and said he began collecting signatures shortly after. He is currently the county treasurer and is term limited.

He is running against Carol Scott, 49, also a Republican. Scott is the Moffat County Deputy Assessor and has been in the position for eight years.

She has spent 13 years in the assessor's office.

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