Ray Beck wins Craig mayoral race, four council members elected | CraigDailyPress.com

Ray Beck wins Craig mayoral race, four council members elected

Patrick Kelly

Craig residents elected a new mayor and four council members on Election Day, bringing a new wave of governance to the city.

The 2015 biennial election ended at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Ray Beck was elected mayor, defeating Don Jones by 164 votes. In the city council election, incumbents Kent Nielson and Joe Bird won reelection and will be joined by newly elected council members John Ponikvar and Derek Duran. Beck will take Terry Carwile's place as mayor of Craig.

"The first thing I want to do is thank the community," Beck said. "It definitely was a community-wide effort to get me in this position."

Beck, a former city council member, said he is excited for the future of Craig and he looks forward to working with city officials and members of the community to move the city forward.

"I'll give it one 110 percent, just like everything else I've been involved in with the community," he said.

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When the polls closed, 1,812 mail-in ballots and 12 electronic ballots had been turned in to the Moffat County Elections Office.

Tori Pingley, election coordinator for Moffat County, said this was an average turnout with 44 percent of active voters participating in the election.

"I thought it was great, we always hope for a bigger turnout but still, all in all, it went great," she said.

As the votes were counted, eager candidates filled the elections office and chatted as they awaited the results. With seven individuals vying for four open city council seats, this was the largest local election Craig has seen since 2003.

Like Beck, the winners of the city council seats were eager to server their community.

"I think we just need to get down, put our nose to the grindstone and get things working better for the city," said Nielson, after welcoming the just-elected Ponikvar and Duran to city council.

Ponikvar said as he joins city council, his focus is being accessible and communicating with his constituents.

"I feel like I understand the community," he said. "But I also am going to ask for a lot of input from community members."

Duran was grateful to those who voted him into office.

"It means a lot. It means the hard work paid off, and I'm excited for the real job to start," Duran said. "I appreciate that everyone went out and voted, and I got a decent amount of votes. I'm looking forward to serving (voters) and representing them and working hard for them."

The office of elections will notify voters of any ballot issues that prevented their vote from being counted, such as a missing signature, and allow them to be corrected by next Monday.

"We're only waiting on seven of those," Pingley said.

Liane Davis-Kling, Marilynn Hill and Matt Winey also ran for city council but didn't have enough votes to make into office.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_Pkelly.

Election results:

Mayor:

Ray Beck — 969 votes

Don Jones — 805

City council:

John Ponkivar — 1232 votes

Joe Bird — 1095

Derek Duran — 1052

Kent Nielson — 994

Liane Davis-Kling — 870

Matt Winey — 630

Marilynn Hill — 451

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