Grand County assemblies slated for Sunday, Tuesday | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County assemblies slated for Sunday, Tuesday

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

County Assemblies are the next course on election syllabus 2008.

This Sunday and the following Tuesday, delegates elected to represent precincts will gather to vote on Grand County candidates and discuss issues facing the county, state and the nation.

Delegates then decide which of those issues, noted and sent forward from the Feb. 5 caucuses, should be included in state or national party platforms.

According to Grand County Republican Central Committee Chairman Dave Abbott, previous caucus meetings produced resolutions concerning such topics as recycling in Grand County.

Various issues will be discussed at the upcoming Republican County Assembly, 12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 9, at the Grand Lake Elementary School and, if deemed appropriate, forwarded on to the state Republican assembly for consideration.

As many as 91 delegates are expected to attend the Republican County Assembly, but anyone is encouraged to go. Those who were not chosen as delegates in the Feb. 5 caucuses may not vote. During the assembly, the Republican party will select 18 delegates who are sent forward to state assemblies.

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Overall, voters are “a lot more enthusiastic this year,” observed Abbott. He credits the presidential races for increased voter participation on the local level.

The only county offices open in the 2008 election are commissioner districts No. 1 and No. 2, presently held by commissioners James Newberry, D-Tabernash, and Nancy Stuart, R-Granby, respectively, both of whom are running for re-election.

The Republican Party does not yet have a candidate to challenge Newberry in the upcoming election, “but we may have on Sunday,” Abbot said.

Republicans also will be voting on state offices to identify who should be at the top of the ticket, such as the two Republican state representative candidates Dan Korkowski of Grand Lake and Randy Baumgardener of Hot Sulphur Springs.

On the other side of the party line, the Democratic Local Assembly and Convention takes place 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 11, at the East Grand School District Administration Building.

Delegates and attendees have a second opportunity to debate and compare the two presidential candidates at the Democratic gathering, according to Grand County Democratic Chairman Clint Roberts.

As far as local races, the Democratic Party does not yet have candidates challenging incumbents Stuart and Newberry. “Hopefully, someone will step forward,” Roberts said. “We have plenty of time, and this is the ideal time to do it.”

At the local assembly, delegates will be elected to attend the district, congressional and state assemblies, and may continue on to the national conventions, if selected.

The Democratic Party will select 18 delegates of its 36 precinct delegates attending the County Assembly to move on to the congressional and district assemblies, May 10, and the state convention, May 17, in Colorado Springs.

The Democratic National Convention is in Denver, and the Republican National Convention is taking place in Minneapolis, Minn., both in August.

For state representative, the Democratic Party has a candidate, Robert Hagenbuch of Phippsburg, in the District 57 race against Korkowski and Baumgardener.

And of course, the heated U.S. Congressional District 2 Democratic race between Jared Polis, Joan Fitz-Gerald and Will Shafroth will be a topic of discussion, Roberts said.

“We invite people to attend to watch democracy in action,” he said about the upcoming assembly. “Even though the intent and purpose is to allow discourse of the delegates and votes, like all public meetings, we encourage citizens to show up and participate in the sense that they’re in a meeting.

“This is the one year that the future of our nation rests on unaffiliated voters,” he said.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com.

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