State, congressional candidates to discuss platforms Sunday

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Al White

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Randy Baumgardner

If you go

What: Meet the candidates, a meet-and-greet with Republican state and congressional candidates

When: 10 a.m. to noon Sunday

Where: Hampton Inn & Suites, 377 Cedar Court

Cost: Free with a light breakfast included

At last week’s Moffat County Republican Central Committee Lincoln Day Dinner at the Holiday Inn of Craig, several candidates running for office in November’s election had a chance to speak to a Moffat County audience. Some of those candidates will have another opportunity Sun­­day.

John Ponikvar, Moffat County Republican Central Committee chairman, and his wife, Corrie, are sponsoring a meet-and-greet from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday at the Hampton Inn & Suites, 377 Cedar Court. The public will have the opportunity to speak with several Republican state and congressional candidates touring Northwest Colorado.

Several candidates who are attending a Lincoln Day dinner Saturday in Steamboat Springs will attend Sunday’s event before moving on to Meeker and Rifle.

Candidates scheduled to attend are:

• Scott Tipton, State House District 58 Representative and a candidate for the Third Congressional District.

• Bob McConnell, Third Congressional District candidate.

• Ken Buck, U.S. Senate candidate.

• Tom Wiens, U.S. Senate candidate.

• J.J. Ament, state treasurer candidate.

• Walker Stapleton, state treasurer candidate.

• Dan Maes, governor candidate.

State Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, and Rep. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, also will attend, and Lori McInnis is scheduled to appear on behalf of her husband, Scott, who is running for governor.

John Ponikvar said more candidates still might attend and that he is continuously receiving calls about possible appearances.

There will be a free breakfast available for guests.

The breakfast is meant to function like a meet-and-greet, but some of the candidates might make short speeches, Ponikvar said.

He said the event would be an asset to the candidates who are not yet familiar with life on the Western Slope.

“They need to know where Northwest Colorado is and what we do here,” he said. “They need to understand about our industry and our jobs.”

But, it’s not just the responsibility of the candidates to get to know their constituents.

Ponikvar said it is important for voters to shake hands with candidates and learn about their personalities.

“Normally all we get to do is see them on TV and read stories in the paper,” he said. “You don’t get a good feel about who a person is. In person, you can tell personalities better, that they’re not being glossed over on TV. Here, they’re themselves.”

He urged any voter with interest in the upcoming election or the way government is run to attend the meet-and-greet and be heard.

“It’s important just to get out and meet candidates,” Ponikvar said. “If you have questions about how government should run or how representatives should represent us, I think you need to be there.

“This is our opportunity.”

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