Steamboat Springs Delegates who attended Routt County’s Republican assembly Sunday afternoon voted decisively to name Brita Horn as their top choice to succeed Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak in District 1.
Out of the three candidates who were nominated at the assembly, Horn, a South Routt rancher who also serves as a fire chief of the rural Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Eagle County, was the only candidate who received enough votes to automatically qualify for the June 26 primary ballot.
“Today’s vote showed I’m meeting the needs of the diversity of our county,” Horn said. “I’m overwhelmed by the support. I’m going to continue to work hard. I won’t let up.”
Of the 82 delegates who attended the four-hour long assembly at the Steamboat Springs Community Center, 45, or 55 percent, voted for Horn. Moose Barrows, a realtor with Prudential Steamboat Realty and former Olympic downhill skier, earned 19 votes, or 23 percent, and Tony Stich, a Stagecoach resident and businessman, earned 17 votes, or 21 percent. One delegate did not vote. A candidate had to earn at least 30 percent of the vote to automatically qualify for the ballot.
Still, Barrows and Stich both said they plan to petition to be on the ballot with the hope of eventually being named the candidate to compete against one of the Democratic county commissioner candidates that include South Routt School Board President Tim Corrigan and Oak Creek Mayor Nikki Knoebel. Barrows said he didn’t think the vote of 82 delegates was necessarily representative of the entire county.
Before her victory, Horn was introduced by two prominent Routt County Republicans.
Stahoviak, who announced in November that she would not seek a sixth term as a commissioner, and Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins said Horn was their pick to become the next District 1 commissioner, and stressed that her background as a longtime public servant makes her a strong candidate.
“Brita is an intelligent, independent and sincere woman,” Stahoviak said. “She will devote the energy, the time and the effort to serve all of our citizens in Routt County.”
Republicans also heard from candidates running for University of Colorado Regent, county commissioner District 2 candidate Tina Kyprios, House District 26 candidate and Republican party chairman Chuck McConnell and state senate candidates Jean White and Randy Baumgardner.
As he addressed the delegates, Baumgardner, who currently represents House District 57 but was drawn out of his district during the redistricting process, said as a state senator, he would “continue to fight for conservative principles on the western slope.”
“I could stand up here and tell you anything, but please look at the voting records,” he said.
White, the incumbent state senator who will face Baumgardner in a primary, said she has been an effective legislator.
“I can get things done for you,” she said. “The most rewarding part of this job is responding to my constituents. I care deeply. I’ve been doing the job, and I want to continue doing the job.”
Issues and resolutions
Toward the end of the meeting, the Republican delegates decided on a list of resolutions to support during this election cycle. They also rejected some of the declarations that were proposed.
Delegates voted, 26-24, in favor of not changing the federal classification of marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug to a Schedule 2 drug. They also voted not to adopt a resolution that said Republican presidential candidates should stop attacking one another personally and instead redirect their attacks on President Barack Obama.
They did approve nine resolutions that, among other things, supported English being named the official language of the United States, auditing the Federal Reserve and supporting only candidates who “stand firmly for our Second Amendment freedoms.”
Toward the end of the meeting, and after the resolutions were adopted, Steamboat resident Pio Utu made a point that resonated with many who attended the assembly.
“We need to try to reach out more to the young couples and the younger generation in our communities,” Utu said, noting there were very few youths in attendance at Sunday’s assembly. “That’s going to be quite a hill to climb, but it’s important that we do reach out to them.”
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com