Gray wins re-election bid |

Gray wins re-election bid

Collin Smith

Lois Wymore

Republican incumbent Tom Gray won his re-election bid to the Moffat County Commission by a close to 3 to 1 majority against Democratic challenger Lois Wymore.

Gray said he plans to continue the same policies and beliefs he brought to the office after the 2004 election. Among those, he will advocate for fiscal restraint and a small, unobtrusive government.

However, Gray said he believes the county will face new issues in the future that will have to be addressed if and when they happen.

“My instinct is that the new (presidential) administration will be less friendly to fossil fuels, and with (Democratic Rep. Mark) Udall as our senator alongside (Democratic Sen. John) Salazar, I think we will see some changes,” Gray said.

He added that fossil fuels are “very important” to Moffat County.

The two Commission candidates had largely the same views on most issues, such as county budget priorities and energy development, with a few exceptions.

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Wymore said the biggest fault she found with the current county administration is that it does not give the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership enough support. The current Commission declined to fund the EDP in 2008, citing low public approval and a lack of concrete results.

The commission has not finalized its 2009 budget or whether it will contribute to EDP.

The country’s financial crisis requires more emphasis on economic development, Wymore said, even though the local economy seems comparatively strong.

“We have to be thinking outside of the box,” she said. “We’re going to have to work really hard to remain stable.”

Wymore also advocated that the county do everything it can to support senior citizens and residents at Sunset Meadows I and II, both retirement communities operated by the county.

Both candidates said the most important goal for the county going forward will be to maintain services, such as road maintenance and law enforcement.

With regard to the county budget, Gray said he planned to maintain the same principles he has brought to the county during the past four years: Maintain 30 percent reserves and operate the county as a “management company,” only spending the resources the voters have approved.

At least one resident said she planned to vote for Wymore because she favored a change in the conservative-dominated commission.

“I have wanted a change in the county commissioners’ ‘good ol’ boy’ group for a long time,” said Jan Rogers shortly after the Debate 2008 event Oct. 16. “Lois is a breath of fresh air.”

Another voter at the polls Tuesday night had a different perspective.

“I personally thought (Gray) was doing a fine job, so he still has my vote,” said Michelle Henderson, 34, a counselor at Hayden High School.

However, not everything is right with the community, she added.

“I think our youth, our teens, need more positive things to do,” Henderson said, which is why she supports the campaign to fund and build a local recreation center.

Could a candidate who pushed youth concerns have gotten her vote?

“Possibly,” Henderson said. “It’s kind of hard to say now.”

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or

Tayyara also to serve second term

Moffat County Commissioner Saed Tayyara received the most votes of any Commission candidate in the 2008 general election, though he ran unopposed for the District 2 seat.

Tayyara received 4,545 votes in Craig, including early and mail-in votes, but not including votes from Maybell or Dinosaur.

Tayyara has said he is proud of the accomplishments he and the other commission members have made, including balancing the budget and building fund reserves. He plans to continue the same fiscally conservative practices in the next four years, he said.