Caucuses grant a grass-roots approach to voting |

Caucuses grant a grass-roots approach to voting

Caucus season is around the corner, with the Republican caucuses taking place on Tuesday, Feb. 7; the Democratic Party caucuses take place on March 6.

To take part in voting at the caucuses, voters already need to be affiliated with a party. The last day to affiliate with the Republican Party was Dec. 7, and the last day to affiliate with the Democratic Party was Jan. 6.

But for those not affiliated who want to see democracy play out among neighbors rather than on FOX or CNN, observers are welcome to attend.

“This truly is grass-roots voting,” said the Grand County Democratic Party’s newly appointed chairperson Sandy Doudna. “It’s where you can put your 2 cents in and be heard.”

Caucuses are where party platforms are formed, where ideas can be heard and move up within the party, where nominees are selected after discussion and debate, and where delegates are chosen to represent the local population.

Delegates attend the Grand County Republican Assembly on March 11 at the Middle Park High School, or they attend the Grand County Democratic Assembly on March 20 at the Granby Library.

Delegates chosen from those camps move on to the Colorado Republican Convention on April 14 in Denver, or the Democratic Party Assembly and Convention on April 14 in Pueblo.

Republicans will elect 18 delegates to move on from Grand County; Democrats will elect 10 delegates.

Besides the heated Republican presidential race this election year, on the local level, the county commissioners’ race will include Republican incumbent Nancy Stuart of District 2. As of Jan. 30, no candidate has declared running against Stuart.

One Republican candidate did fill out paperwork with the county but then discovered he did not qualify due to new re-districting boundaries that pushed him out of District 2 and into District 3. According to Doudna, there is the possibility for someone to declare his or her candidacy at the upcoming Grand County Democrats’ meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the Granby Library.

In District 1, incumbent James Newberry may be running against at least one challenger. Chas McConnell, who ran in 2008 as a write-in candidate, has declared his Republican candidacy.

For those considering running for commissioner, they may petition to be on the ballot, or declare before the Republican County Assembly, according to Republican Chair Harry Kottcamp.

Caucus voters will also consider candidates running for the 14th Judicial District (Brett Barkey R-Hayden), U.S. House District 2 (Jared Polis, D-Boulder; Eric Weissman, R-Boulder; Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud), the state Senate District 8 (Randy Baumgardner, R-Cowdrey, and Jean White R-Hayden), and the House District 13 (Claire Levy, D-Boulder).

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