Councilman Bohrer ramps up campaign for County Commissioner as primary draws near |

Councilman Bohrer ramps up campaign for County Commissioner as primary draws near

Maddy Hughes / Craig Press
City Councilman Tony Bohrer's campaign for County Commissioner District 1 seat ramped up Tuesday with new signs going up around town, like this one displayed prominently on the front window of Masterworks Mechanical Inc. on Yampa Avenue.
Joshua Carney / Craig Press

Tony Bohrer announced his bid for the Moffat County District 1 County Commissioner seat back in February. 

He had been planning to run for the seat for some time, and even moved to District 1 from his former home a year prior to running for office, in accordance with election rules. 

Like the other candidates, Bohrer has a long history of community involvement in Craig. He has been on Craig City Council for seven years, and will be leaving one year early if and when he is elected as County Commissioner (his second term is up next year). He owns two local businesses which share a name, Ivory Tip Fencing and Ivory Tip Outfitters, and is a Christian pastor at a local church, not to mention a chaplain to the Craig Police Department and the Craig Fire Department. His tie to the community is clear.

“My family homesteaded this community in the early 1900s,” Bohrer shared. 

But his election campaign is unique in that he is running unopposed in the primary. 

“We did all our campaign work with the delegates, and got enough delegates to be the only one on the ballot for the primary,” Bohrer said.

The incumbent District 1 Commissioner Don Cook announced that he was running, but needed 23 delegates to get on the ballot, and ended up with only 22. 

Bohrer’s campaign hit a snag with the COVID-19 pandemic, but he says that his signs will start going out this week, as well as his social media campaign material. Despite the setback of the pandemic, he says he’s still been connecting with residents, and emphasized that he has mostly been listening. 

“I’ve been talking to a lot of people, former commissioners and current commissioners, and just trying to listen more than do the talking. I’ve learned over the years that anything successful happening takes a team. One person doesn’t change much—if you can get a team together then you’re way more powerful than you are by yourself,” Bohrer said. 

Having been on City Council for seven years, one might suppose Bohrer was perfectly prepared for the role of County Commissioner. But he is humble about his qualifications, and admitted there will be a learning curve taking place in transition from the city to the county.

“Obviously they are two different entities; they have two different ways of doing things,” he said.

Still, seven years on City Council have prepared him in many ways, as has his experience as a business owner (six years) and manager (12 years). 

“I think that the city has prepared me for a couple things. One, dealing with the public, because obviously in every decision you make someone’s not going to be happy with it. It’s given me that ability to listen to all sides,” Bohrer said. “Also, it’s gotten me to understand budgets. Being my own business owner also helps me in that budget process. This is the mentality I take toward the government, I’ve said this many times in a city council meeting, that if you owned your own business, you wouldn’t spend money that way. If this was coming out of your own pocket book, you wouldn’t spend money that way. Because as a business owner you drive a truck a couple years longer than a government would, you use that piece of equipment longer than the government would.

“You can talk to any city employee and they will tell you that I am very pro-employee. If you have great employees that believe in the process and what you’re doing, and you create a culture with those employees, you can accomplish anything. To say that I know the county’s culture with employees, I don’t know that. But that’s going to be one of the things that I work on, I want to create an atmosphere where people want to come to work and do their job.”

Bohrer will have to take a step back from his usual schedule as a business owner if elected.

“My goal is to obviously step back from the day to day functions of the business, putting key people in that I trust to run day to day operations,” he said. “Obviously I will still have oversight of those businesses. I think every county commissioner in the past has had a business of some sort, whether they were ranchers or business owners, and so my goal is to step back from (my businesses) and focus on the county, do my due diligence and put my time in. I’ll still be a business owner, obviously, I just won’t be able to be part of the day to day functions.”

If anything is clear about Tony Bohrer, it’s that he is particularly ambitious. When asked if he’s afraid of the power plant closing, he said, “I wouldn’t say fearful, obviously, but it is a big concern 100 percent. That is going to be our focus: what are we going to do after this, what are we going to do to move forward? I think this is where we are going to need to be proactive instead of reactive,” he said.  

Bohrer thinks that “where there is opposition, there is opportunity.” He noted that a few people have pointed out the difficulty which will befall County Commissioners for the next four to eight years, but that doesn’t take away from his enthusiasm about his chance to be in that role. 

“I like to be part of the solution and not the problem,” Bohrer said. “There’s always people that can point out problems, we are really good at that. But I’m interested in solutions, what can we do about it? My kids are still in school… I know that after eight years, if I get elected both terms, I have to go back into the workforce and one of my kids will still be in school. The next eight to ten years are very important to the citizens of Moffat County. I want to do my best to make sure that in eight years we are better than when I got elected, and that’s my goal. My campaign slogan is simply ‘better together.’ That we are better together than we are apart. That’s kind of where I’ve put my focus, is how can we become better? What do we have to do to be better?”

Bohrer is committed to personal improvement as well, a character trait that bodes well for public office. Besides managing other people’s businesses and owning his own, Bohrer said that he is on the John Maxwell leadership team. “I’m certified to teach his material as far as leadership. I’m very big into growing personally, reading, taking classes. Personal development, I think, is huge. You can never be too qualified.” 

The County Commissioner primary election takes place June 30.

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