GOP off to strong beginning |

GOP off to strong beginning

Election shaping up, but Dems slow to start

Local candidates are emerging for the 2006 election season, but so far, it’s largely a one-party affair.

Last week, eight candidates announced their intentions to run for six elected positions in Moffat County. All eight are Republicans.

Vic Alton, a political independent, has filed paperwork to run for Moffat County sheriff, but hasn’t made an official announcement.

With the party caucuses a month away, Terry Carwile, the chairman of the Moffat County Democratic Party, said he doesn’t know of any local Democrats who plan to run for sheriff or for county commissioner.

Finding local Democrats to run for commissioner or for sheriff is a challenge, Carwile said.

Carwile ran for commissioner and lost in 2004 and said he does not intend to run again.

“I’m busy, I’ve got plenty to do,” the Craig City Council member said.

Vicki Burns and Dan W. Martin, both Republicans, are the confirmed candidates for the open county commission position.

Jerry Hoberg and Tim Jantz, also Republicans, are the candidates confirmed for sheriff.

From the Republican perspective, having two candidates vying for the commission seat and two vying for the sheriff’s job will make the winner a better candidate, said Ron Danner, chairman of the Moffat County Republican Party.

“Competition makes everything better,” Danner said.

If there are only Republicans in the race, the election will effectively be over after the primary in August, when the Republicans decide who will be on the November ballot.

“I don’t think it serves the electorate,” Carwile said about what amounts to a shortened election season.

Moffat County Chief Deputy Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod said it isn’t uncommon to see Independents or Democrats register as Republicans before the primary so they can decide which Republican will be on the November ballot.

“I really think that’s why Moffat County has a large number of Republicans,” she said.

Herod also said people switch parties because they know a candidate and want to vote for that candidate, regardless of party.

Voters have to be registered with a party by July 10 if they want to vote in that party’s primary in August.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or

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