Dems plan for upcoming election

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by Marissa Lorenz

The Grand County Democratic Party met this past Monday at Maverick’s Grille in Granby. Nearly 30 citizens were present for dinner, conversation, and the regular January meeting.

The official meeting began around 6:45 PM, when local party Chair Susan Newcomer welcomed those present and acknowledged the celebration
of Martin Luther King Jr. Day with some of the activist’s most memorable quotes, including, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

With 2020 being a presidential election year, most reports and conversation were about upcoming events and dates related to the election. Newcomer reported that she and Carl Wood, Chair of the Grand County Republican Party, had visited the office of the Grand County Clerk and Designated Election Official for Logic and Accuracy testing of the Grand County ballot counting process. This test examines the various equipment used in the election process, to verify that it is functional, without mechanical problems, and that it correctly tabulates votes. She declared no problems with equipment and praised longtime Election Official Sara Rosene on her knowledge and diligence.

The Chair continued her report with discussion of the upcoming election-related dates, including those of the upcoming caucus to be held Saturday, March 7 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Caucuses will be held throughout the county, organized by Precinct Chair Persons (PCPs) and other party volunteers. Precincts 4 and 5, which encompass Kremmling and the surrounding areas, will caucus at the Kremmling Library on that day. The importance of the caucus was emphasized on several occasions, with members pointing out that one must participate in the local caucus if they wish to attend the county assembly, state convention, or national convention later in the year. Representatives to these occasions are meant to be the voice of their local members, helping to decide party support for candidates in all but the presidential election.

Registered Democrats who attend the caucus would be eligible to participate in the county assembly to be held Saturday, March 21 at the Middle Park High School. Delegates for state convention, to take place April 21, will be chosen at that time. The party is without a Precinct Chair Person for voting precinct 5, which includes residents living south and west of US Highway 40 in Kremmling. The district runs north to the Routt County Line and encompasses areas surrounding the Trough Road and Highway 9. A precinct map is available at co.grand.co.us/147/elections. If you are a resident of precinct 5, a Democratic voter, and interested in acting as PCP, you can contact Newcomer at [email protected] org for more information.

2020 marks a change in the primary process for Colorado, where voters will participate in a primary election for presidential candidates in June. This change will allow unaffiliated voters to participate in the candidate selection process, something they were previously excluded from under the caucus-only practice. All present were spurred to encourage voter registration and the checking of voter status with those they interact with.
Newcomer pointed to several elections that are of import to Colorado Democrats this year. She noted that Shanna Ganne, Executive Director of the Grand County Historical Association is running for County Commissioner for district 2, challenging Republican incumbent Merrit Linke. Colorado House District 13– serving Grand, Jackson, Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Boulder Counties– is open this year, due to term limits, and has two democratic candidates, Judy Amabile and Lisa Smith. There are currently no Democratic candidates for State Senate District 8, encompassing Grand, Jackson, Routt, Moffat, Summit, Rio Blanco, and Garfield Counties. US Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado is being challenged in 2020 by a number of Democratic hopefuls. Currently, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is leading polls for the Democratic nominee, followed by former Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff.

The meeting was full of resources and reminders. The next regular meeting will be held at 6:00 PM, February 17 at Maverick’s Grill in Granby. US Congressman Joe Neguse has been invited to speak. Meetings are open to the public. February 14 is the last day for those of any party to register to vote or to update voter information in order to participate in precinct caucuses. Registration or edits can be made at govotecolorado.com. fivethirtyeight. com was recommended as a good source for polling information. Other local resources and links regarding the local Democratic Party, election information, and other political tidbits can be found at grandcountydems.org.

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