Steamboat Springs Two unaffiliated candidates turned in petitions this week to join the November election, but both fell just short of the number of signatures required before the first deadline this week.
Kevin Nerney, who plans to run for Routt County coroner, and Ridgeway “Skidge” Moon, who plans to run for re-election as county surveyor, have until July 30 to get the required number of signatures.
Routt County deputy clerk Sherry Wofford said both candidates were close to getting the required number of signatures. Nerney was required to collect 123, and Moon needed 125. One other unaffiliated candidate, interim Assessor Gary Peterson, already submitted his petition and is on the ballot, Wofford said.
Nerney would face incumbent Republican Rob Ryg and Democratic challenger Darrel Levingston, who are on the ballot.
Nerney said Thursday that he handed in more signatures than were required but that he needs just two more after several of the names were thrown out. He said he decided to run for the position because he wanted to give back to the community. He said that after working as a police officer and a firefighter, he got away from community service for a time.
“I got back into serving the public when I had a restaurant, but that closed down,” he said.
He said he is interested in the position of coroner because of the different ways people deal with grief and that the job is primarily “compassion and empathy of the person who is deceased.”
Nerney said it appears that Ryg has kept the budget in check and is doing a good job as coroner but that he heard a rumor that Ryg was not running for re-election. That’s what prompted him to start his campaign, he said.
Ryg said Thursday that he is running for re-election. He filed paperwork in January and will be on the ballot. Ryg worked for seven years as the deputy coroner and is coming up on his seventh year as lead coroner for the county. He said that during that time he’s done more than 250 investigations.
“Basically, I think it’s an experience issue,” he said.
Although there is no formal requirement to become the coroner, Ryg said he has done extra work to earn a statewide certification.
Moon is running uncontested to be re-elected as county surveyor. The surveyor represents the county in land boundary disputes.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners appointed Peterson the interim county assessor in March, when Assessor Mike Kerrigan left the county. Peterson said at the time that he planned to run for the permanent position.
Anton Stitch also submitted an affidavit expressing interest in running for the assessor’s position as a Republican, but he did not gather the required signatures to get onto the ballot, Wofford said.