Tami Barnes running for Moffat County Commission | CraigDailyPress.com

Tami Barnes running for Moffat County Commission

Brian Smith

Tami and Rick Barnes stand Thursday in front of the fireplace inside their home on Moffat County Road 174. Tami, a Republican, is running for the Moffat County Commission District 2 seat against incumbent Audrey Danner.

When asked why she wanted to run for the Moffat County Commission, Tami Barnes, 45, reached for a copy of the U.S. Constitution.

"It's being taken out of everything that our government is doing," she said. "They forgot that this is what made America, and Americans are what made America. Instead of the politicians asking what can we do for you, they're telling us what we are going to do for them."

Barnes, a Republican and chairwoman of the Moffat County Tea Party, announced her candidacy for the county commission Feb. 27 at the Moffat County Republican Central Committee Lincoln Day Dinner.

"If I had it my way, we'd go back to the 1800s when you knew where you stood," she said. "Everybody went to the town hall meetings, everybody knew what was happening to their town and somehow, we've lost that."

Barnes will be running against incumbent Audrey Danner, 57, for the District 2 seat.

"Moffat County needs a change in our government," Barnes said. "I want to bring Moffat County citizens back into their county."

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Barnes said she stands for governmental transparency and accountability.

She contends state and federal government is not listening to local politicians.

"They have no clue as to how we live, work and they're not listening to the people that we vote in who feel the same way we do," she said.

As a longtime Colorado resident, Barnes feels her rural upbringing and attitudes are what is needed in government.

"If we brought our state representatives and our governor over here to follow any rancher or small-business owner around, they couldn't do it," she said. "They would have to go back to their cushy chairs.

"It's time for people like me to get off the couch and make a stand in what I believe in."

Barnes was raised in Steam­boat Springs and ran a construction company in North Carolina, where she learned "to do whatever it takes."

"I did it, whatever it took, if we were shorthanded, I'd put a hammer in my hand," she said. "You have to do what it takes to get something done. You can't just lie down in the middle of it and say 'I don't want to do this' and think someone is going to come along and do it for you.

"That seems to be where our government is going now, too. Everybody seems to be getting tired of fighting for their rights and they think someone else is going to come along and do a better job than them."

Barnes lives with her husband, Rick, a few miles from Craig. They have a small cattle ranch, which she helps operate. She credits her husband with getting her involved in politics.

"This last election was the first time I ever voted," she said. "Nothing ever mattered to me before. What changed was what I was hearing. I was hearing one thing but (politicians) were talking out the other side of their mouths.

"Thank God my husband opened my eyes to what was really going on. That's when I decided that while I may only be one person, but my vote counts."

The Barnes are a politically passionate couple and Tami said Rick considered running for commission, but because of his more than 40-hour a week job, he "just wouldn't have the time."

Although her husband is a big political influence on her, Barnes said she would use her own best judgment when making decisions.

Barnes said she wants to make several changes to the commission.

"The government needs to be for the county and not for themselves," she said. "They need to stop worrying about federal money and what loopholes we are going to have to jump through. All that's going to do is take away from our local businesses.

"Sure, we need federal money, but we don't need to be jumping through hoops and cutting our arms off to get the federal money."

In addition, Barnes would like to see the commission host a monthly night meeting to boost attendance. She also wants the commissioners to have some night office hours in an attempt to be more open to constituents.

Allthough this is Barnes' first time running for public office, she sees it as an opportunity rather than a hindrance.

"I haven't been involved with government long, but I have been involved with the small, working man," she said. "We all need to put food on our table and roofs over our heads.

"Yeah, Audrey has been doing this job for a year, but she hasn't really been doing this job for a year. She is good at doing the technical end and doing the research, but as far as reaching out and listening to the people, she's not."

Danner could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Election calendar

• March 16 — Precinct Caucus Day

• April 10 — Republican County Assembly

• July 12 — Last day to register to vote for primary election

• July 31 — Early voting begins

• Aug. 3 — Last day to request mail-in ballots

• Aug. 6 — Last day for early voting

• Aug. 10 — Primary election

• Oct. 4 — Last day to register to vote for general election

• Oct.18 — Early voting begins

• Oct. 26 — Last day to request mail-in ballots

• Oct. 29 — Last day for early voting

• Nov. 2 — General election

Voter registration locations in Craig

• Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way

• Colorado Driver’s License office, 555 Breeze St.

• Moffat County Social Services building, 595 Breeze St.

• Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane.

Voting center locations

• Centennial Mall, 1111 W. Victory Way

• Hamilton Community Center, 17400 S. Colo. Hwy. 13

• Maybell Community Center, 103 Ellis St.

• Dinosaur Library, 400 W. School St.

Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Any Moffat County resident may vote at any of the county’s voting centers.

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