Uintah County Commissioner Max Adams has launched a write-in campaign to retain his seat.
Adams, a retired businessman, was defeated in the Republican primary by challenger Lewis Vincent, who claimed a 204-vote victory. In November Adams will again face Vincent and Herb Snyder on the Democratic ticket.Adams said he will have a "strong and aggressive campaign which will deal with the issues."
One main issue Adams wants to hit head on is the federal regulations and mandates being imposed upon rural counties in the West.
"I believe that the way of life within Uintah County is in immediate and eminent jeopardy," he proclaimed while announcing his write-in candidacy.
"Federal agencies are continuing to encroach on our rights to the use of public lands within the boundaries of our county.
"I believe that neither of the other candidates for this office has the experience or knowledge needed to protect us against the infringement of the federal government upon our rights," he said.
"I further believe that because my Republican opponent is dependent upon the use of public lands for grazing, and must annually ask government agencies to renew his permits, he could not possibly be effective in waging this battle.
He may, in fact, be found in conflict of interest if he were to be elected," Adams said.
In response, Vincent said as a cattleman he is in a better position to deal with federal agencies because of his experience with them. He added that most of his business dealings are not with the local BLM office but with the Meeker, Colo., office.
Adams said he believes Uintah County commissioners must work full-time and must not have other interests that would interfere with the commitment of time and energy necessary to address the challenges of the job, something he says his opponents would not be able to do.
Vincent said Adams' claims don't bother him. With Adams running as a write-in, "a lot more of the issues will be talked about," he said.
Adams believes he lost the primary because while serving as chairman of the County Commission for the past four years, voters blamed him for a number of unpopular decisions. He also says mud-slinging before the July primary played a part in his loss.
"I believe that I was unsuccessful in the recent primary election because of the efforts of certain politicians and special-interest groups who organized to promote personal agendas without regard for the welfare of the citizens of Uintah County."