Tim Corrigan, candidate for Routt County Board of Commissioners District 1 seat, speaks with delegates Richard Parker and Sterling Banks at Saturday's democratic county assembly. Corrigan earned the support of 44 of 66 delegates at the assembly while Oak Creek Mayor Nikki Knoebel received 18 votes.

Photo by Nicole Inglis

Tim Corrigan, candidate for Routt County Board of Commissioners District 1 seat, speaks with delegates Richard Parker and Sterling Banks at Saturday's democratic county assembly. Corrigan earned the support of 44 of 66 delegates at the assembly while Oak Creek Mayor Nikki Knoebel received 18 votes.

Corrigan lone Democratic candidate for District 1 seat

Knoebel fails to reach primary by 2 votes at Routt County assembly

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Nikki Knoebel

Tim Corrigan emerged from Saturday’s Democratic Party county assembly as his party’s lone candidate for the District 1 Routt County Board of Commissioners seat.

Corrigan, a Steamboat business owner and president of the South Routt School Board, received 44 of the 66 delegate votes while his opponent, Oak Creek Mayor Nikki Knoebel, received 18.

Candidates needed 20 votes — or 30 percent of the delegates’ support — to qualify for the June primary. Four delegates did not vote for either candidate in the only contested race at the assembly.

After the results were announced, Corrigan hugged Knoebel outside the Steamboat Springs Community Center’s Community Room.

“It’s really unfair to Nikki,” he said. “It’s crazy she doesn’t have the chance to petition.”

Because she received at least 10 percent of delegate votes, Knoebel legally could petition onto the primary ballot. But because of state statutes, Knoebel faces two large obstacles: First, her deadline to submit the petition would be Monday because the date of the Democratic primary was moved up to June 26.

In addition, candidates must collect a number of signatures equal to 20 percent of the votes their party’s candidate received in the primary of the previous election. But because no Democrat challenged Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak in the 2008 election, that number changes to 20 percent of the votes Stahoviak received in the general election. That equates to nearly 1,700 signatures.

Republican candidates Moose Barrows and Tony Stich, who both are petitioning onto their party’s primary ballot, have to collect only 105 signatures.

Knoebel said the situation was frustrating but that Corrigan is a great candidate.

“I’ll be right there supporting him in the process to get him into office,” she said.

Corrigan said that although he thought the situation was unfair, he was grateful to not have to go through a primary process so he can focus on campaigning for the general election.

Knoebel said she plans to keep plugging away as the mayor of Oak Creek.

“I have my hands full in Oak Creek, and I will for the next two years,” she said.

She said she plans to run for commissioner again in four years.

Also at the assembly, the delegates unanimously voted to support all of the unopposed candidates for national, state, district and county offices, including President Barack Obama, 3rd Congressional District candidate Sal Pace, University of Colorado Board of Regents at-large candidate Steve Ludwig, state Senate District 8 candidate Emily Tracy, House District 26 candidate Diane Mitsch Bush and Routt County Board of Commissioners District 2 candidate Doug Monger.

The delegates then discussed several resolutions that ultimately would be sent to the state to represent the local Democratic Party platform.

After about an hour and a half of discussion, the delegates passed resolutions that included supporting a sales tax on Internet transactions, supporting veteran-friendly initiatives, supporting a prevention and wellness-based health care system and supporting local control of oil and gas regulation.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com

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