Moffat County Commissioner candidates share their stories
Moffat County residents currently are voting via mail-in ballot for their next county commissioner. That seat is the only contested race and whoever wins the June primary will proceed to the November ballot uncontested. The election wraps up June 24, but people have been sending in ballots almost all month. Tom Soos, emergency management coordinator for Moffat County, is running against Frank Moe, owner of the Best Western Deer Park Inn and Suites, are fighting for the seat. They sat down with the Craig Daily Press to share more about their personal lives and aspirations that led them to run for the District 3 county commissioner seat.
Tom Soos and his wife Brenda bought a house in Craig in 1992. They identified it as the ideal spot to raise their family while enjoying the best Colorado has to offer. Soos loved to hunt and his wife was particular to skiing.
“The plan all along was to move here,” Soos said. “The time just seemed right.”
Although they bought a house in the early ’90s, they weren’t able to move into it until 2000. They left behind jobs to move to Moffat County with the desire to be in a part of quieter and slower lifestyle than what they were used to at their home in New Jersey.
“We pulled the stakes and moved,” he said. “It just seemed like a really good place to raise a family.”
That’s what they did. Their three sons — Kevin, 23, Steven, 22, and Jason, 20 — all started at Sunset Elementary School and grew up on the Soos’ 56 acres on Moffat County Road 15.
On their ranch, Tom and Brenda Soos raise their own beef and animals, tending tenderly to their old bull, Bubba.
Soos started out working as a truck driver for Coca Cola, but moved on to become the EMS director for TMH — a position he’s held for seven years. He took on teaching EMT and IV classes at CNCC and also worked part-time for the county in emergency management. After TMH, he moved on to work full-time for the county in his current capacity as emergency management coordinator.
Soos said he decided to transition out of his job at TMH because he recognized a need to address different issues directly within the county.
“I just think there’s so many things within the county that needs attention,” he said. “I thought I would bring a much different perspective.”
Frank Moe and his wife, Kerry, have lived across the country, but they have never felt so at home as they have living in Moffat County.
“We feel like we’re Craig and Moffat County born but we’re not,” he said. “We really appreciated the small-town community feel that we all have.”
Moe grew up in Spokane, Washington, but moved to several cities throughout his life. He met Kerry when he was managing a hotel in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“My secretary introduced us and we met on a blind date,” he said. “We have been together ever since.”
They moved to Craig 27 years ago with a straightforward mission to give the then-Holiday Inn hotel a fiscal reboot. But the couple developed a strong affinity for Craig and decided to start up their own hotel. In 1997, they opened the local Best Western Deer Park Inn and Suites.
They’ve been in business together ever since. They take care of their cats and recently have picked up golfing.
“We took up golf from the college,” Moe said. “They have an excellent introductory program.”
Although the campaign has cut into his recreation time a bit, he said with a laugh.
“This has been such an exciting campaign, I haven’t even played golf yet,” Moe said.
Moe is proud of his community and he launched into this campaign because he wants to help, he said.
“When you see people that need help, and you think you can help, you want to help and offer whatever you can do for your community.”
Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or efenner@CraigDailyPress.com.
This year, a handful of Moffat County High School graduates are setting out to carry on the family tradition. From business to education, these students plan to follow in the footsteps their parents and in some cases, grandparents and great-grandparents.