Oak Creek mayor withdraws from Routt County treasurer’s race | SteamboatToday.com

Oak Creek mayor withdraws from Routt County treasurer’s race

Nikki Knoebel

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County Democrats are racing against the clock to find a candidate to run for county treasurer after their only candidate withdrew this week.

Oak Creek Mayor Nikki Knoebel ended her campaign for treasurer after learning she could not also run for re-election as mayor at the same time.

"I received a legal opinion from the Colorado Secretary of State's legal team advising that (under state law) no person is eligible to be a candidate for more than one office at one time …," Knoebel wrote in an email announcing the end of her treasurer’s campaign.

The only exception to the rule is if a person is seeking membership on different special district boards.

Knoebel filed to run for re-election as Oak Creek's mayor in January. She then announced her campaign for county treasurer in early March.

The law does not forbid elected officials from holding two different offices at a time but prevents them from simultaneously campaigning for different positions.

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"Therefore, it is with great disappointment that I am withdrawing from the Routt County treasurer’s race," Knoebel said.

She added she did not initially realize having two campaigns running simultaneously would be a conflict.

"I have been honored to work with the Oak Creek community as mayor, and I have made an enthusiastic commitment to the citizens of Oak Creek to seek re-election as mayor and to work together to continue the progress we have made over the past eight years," she said.

Catherine Carson, chairwoman of the Routt County Democratic Party, said Tuesday the party has until April 23 to find a new candidate.

"We basically need to get our vacancy committee going and seek a good candidate to get on the primary ballot," she said. "Nikki and all the citizens of Oak Creek have just worked so well together and achieved so much. I'm proud of Nikki for honoring her commitment to the citizens of Oak Creek."

Carson said potential Democratic candidates for treasurer can contact her at 970-870-2896. She also stressed vacancy committee meetings to select a candidate will be open to the public.

Meanwhile, Republicans are getting closer to learning who will qualify for the ballot in the county treasurer's race.

Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kim Bonner said candidate Patrick Karschner, the county's chief deputy treasurer, pulled a petition to try and collect enough signatures from voters to earn a spot on the ballot.

Lane Iacovetto, the county's deputy clerk and recorder, will attempt to earn a spot on the ballot Saturday by getting enough delegates to support her candidacy at the county assembly.

If both candidates get spots on the ballot, they will face each other in a June 26 primary election.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.