Knoebel, Corrigan vie for Routt County commissioner spot
March 29, 2012
Steamboat Springs — The District 1 Routt County Board of Commissioners seat will be the only contested race at Saturday's Routt County Democratic assembly, where 73 delegates will decide whether Tim Corrigan and Nikki Knoebel will make it onto the primary ballot.
A candidate must receive at least 30 percent of delegate votes to be placed on the primary ballot. If a candidate with less than 30 percent of the vote receives at least 10 percent, he or she can petition to be on the primary ballot.
However, the petition requirements and deadline would make that nearly impossible.
With the date of the primary moved to June 26, the petition deadline is Monday, according to Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland.
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 Democratic candidate challenged Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak in the 2008 primary, that number changes to 20 percent of the votes Stahoviak received in the general election. That's nearly 1,700 signatures.
Knoebel and Corrigan said Thursday that they would be unable to gather the required signatures in time.
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Corrigan led Knoebel at the Democratic caucus three weeks ago with the support of 74 delegates to Knoebel's 24. Twenty of those delegates remained uncommitted.
"Right now, I'm trying to talk to the delegates that were uncommitted and really try to get my word out and get out what I stand for," Knoebel said. "The biggest thing is just getting the opportunity to get on the ballot so that we can have two people, we can have debates."
Corrigan said he suspects they both will earn the 30 percent needed.
"I would feel very badly for Nikki or for myself if we were put in a position of not being able to get on the ballot," he said.
Saturday's assembly also will serve as the county convention, and throughout the afternoon, delegates will be elected to continue to the 3rd Congressional District assembly and convention, the state assembly and convention, the Senate District 8 assembly, the House District 56 assembly and the 14th Judicial District assembly. There are no other contested races up for vote Saturday. The delegates also will vote on resolutions on their party's platform.
Republicans to petition
Moose Barrows and Tony Stitch, the Republican District 1 commissioner candidates who did not qualify for the June 26 primary ballot Sunday at the Republican county assembly, are working to petition their way onto the ballot.
Weinland said the candidates have until Monday to collect and turn in the signatures of at least 105 registered Republicans in Routt County, 20 percent of the number of votes for Stahoviak in the 2008 primary. She added that the candidates cannot collect any of the same signatures.
While standing with his petition in front of Steamboat's downtown post office Thursday afternoon, Stitch said he had collected more than 90 signatures.
"I'm getting close," he said, adding that he was enjoying talking with potential voters. "I'll probably be here at least the rest of today and tomorrow."
Brita Horn, a South Routt rancher who also serves as fire chief of the rural Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Eagle County, automatically qualified for the ballot Sunday after she received the support of 55 percent of the 82 delegates who attended Sunday's Republican assembly. Barrows received 23 percent of the vote, and Stitch received 21 percent.
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com