Incumbent Democrat Tim Corrigan takes race for Routt County commissioner
Steamboat Springs — Democrat Tim Corrigan, the former South Routt School Board president who first claimed the Routt County commissioner District 1 seat in 2012, secured a second term Tuesday with a win over Republican businessman Bob Dapper, who spent more than $39,000 in campaign funds in his bid to defeat the incumbent.
With all but 450 ballots counted, Corrigan had a 1,000-vote lead over Dapper, at 6,490 to 5,459, or 54.3 percent to 45.7 percent.
Corrigan campaigned in 2012 on the need to shore up the county budget and restore reserves, while on a personal level, reaching out to county employees.
He has been a consistent proponent of directing growth in Routt County outward from Steamboat Springs to the other communities of Hayden, Oak Creek, Yampa, Phippsburg and Stagecoach.
“I’m totally convinced we have the infrastructure in our outlying communities ready to absorb some of this growth,” Corrigan said. “I understand the problems with commuting, but at some point, it’s what makes sense — to utilize that existing infrastructure.”
Among Dapper’s campaign themes was the importance of protecting three critical elements of the local economy — mining, ranching and tourism.
“People need to realize the coal in Routt is as clean as it can be for coal,” Dapper said on election night. “Coal may not be the end all, but we have a coal mine next to a power plant, and we need to do everything we can to not put a bullet in it. I think one of the most important things is to get the citizens of Routt County to understand that energy is not a partisan issue, it’s a bipartisan issue.”
Corrigan said in a second term he hopes to put more energy into advocating for early childhood education.
I think we’ve got limited ability from a governmental perspective to move the needle on affordable housing, but I do think we have to really make a difference in early childhood education,” Corrigan said. “I’m going to continue my work with First Impressions and finding ways to expand access.”
Corrigan said that would include working with working with local school districts to make the case that if they diverted more resources to pre-kindergarten youngsters, they would save money in the long run with students who are better prepared for the upper grades.
After nine months of campaigning, Dapper said he’d like to share with the Board of Commissioners the impressions he has formed.
“The citizens want to see the commissioners out in public more, they want to talk to them, touch them, and understand what’s going on, and not have to have a Phd in planning to put a deck on their house,” Dapper said. “I think there are some very basic frustrations out there. The No. 1 thing I heard, especially in rural Routt, is that they feel like they are not heard.”
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