RANGELY I Rangely businessman Jeff Rector says he is most grateful for the support of Rio Blanco County Republicans who voted for him in last week’s GOP primary election, when he defeated incumbent Republican Jon Hill for the District 3 Rio Blanco County commissioner seat.
Rector won by a slim 17 votes, garnering 721 votes to 704 for Hill. Rector will take office in January since there is no Democratic opponent for the seat, and Rector says he is highly grateful for the six months of learning time before he takes his seat.
“First, I am very pleased to be elected; I know the voters had to make a very tough choice,” he said. “I truly want to thank all those who supported me.
“I now have a chance to sit in on meetings and learn what I need to learn so there is a smooth transition,” Rector said. “I really don’t have any key plans I need to get right into; I want to listen in these next six months and learn what the real priorities are. I will feel better about setting my priorities a little bit down the road.”
Rector said he realizes his job is to represent all of Rio Blanco County, not just District 3 around Rangely.
“As for the overall priorities, I have two thoughts on that,” he said. “Shawn Bolton is going to be the senior commissioner and he has been a valuable commissioner who, along with Hill and (Jeff) Eskelson have the county headed in the right direction. I like a lot of what they have done.
“But I will sit down with Shawn and (commissioner-elect) Si (Woodruff), and we will have to figure out what the priorities will be.
“For me, one of the priorities will be the Wolf Creek Dam project,” Rector said. “This will be a huge development and I want to see that project through. I can say I believe it could well become a reality within 10 years; maybe fewer.”
He also said he is interested in keeping strong with economic development efforts in Rio Blanco County.
“We must get away from the energy business in order to survive as a county,” he said. “They always say we will see another boom, and that may be. But I don’t think we can wait for that to happen and we need some kind of alternative.”