New leadership for Moffat County Republican, Democratic parties

Sasha Nelson

— Moffat County Republican and Democratic parties both have new leadership spanning the range of experience in formal politics.

Corrie Ponikvar was elected as chair of the Moffat County Republican Party.

“I’ve been involved in Republican politics for close to 50 years. I am excited about having a leadership role in the local party,” Ponikvar said.

She takes over for Brandi Meek.

Ponikvar has two priorities: to work with other parties to bring civility back to local politics and increase engagement with younger voters.

“Given the divisiveness, it’s time to bring some civility, fun and positivity to local politics. I would like us to reach across the aisle, meet with the other party periodically to identify things we can all get our heads around, that we can both agree on, and that both parties can support,” Ponikvar said.

On the other side of the preverbal aisle, John McCarson is a lifelong democrat and self-described “bleeding heart liberal” originally from Michigan and the new chair of the Moffat County Democrats.

His work in the hotel business brought him to Craig in November 2015.

“I’m pretty excited,” McCarson said. “There is a group of people here that haven’t really had a person who was proactive in expressing their voice. I’m proactive.”

This will be McCarson’s first foray into formal politics.

Former party Chair Jo Ann Baxter spoke highly of her successor.

“He’s a young man with a lot of enthusiasm and seems to care about the same things I care about. I think it’s time for some new blood, and I feel really good about the people stepping up,” she said.

McCarson’s goal to be more proactive and bring all ideas together leaves him willing to open a dialogue with Ponikvar.

“I think it’s needed. We may have ideological differences, but I think civility is something we should all aim for as humans,” McCarson said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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