Grand County: Republican, Democratic caucuses set for Tuesday, Feb. 5 | SkyHiNews.com
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Grand County: Republican, Democratic caucuses set for Tuesday, Feb. 5

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

Grand County’s Democratic and Republican voters are revving up for Super Tuesday, Feb. 5, the kick-off into election season 2008.

Locations of community caucuses are set for both parties, and based on the amount of interest this year, both sides of the party line are expecting big turn-outs.

One precinct’s caucus was going to be held at the Fraser Valley Library, but pre-election fervor motivated a change in venue for more space, according to Grand County’s Democratic Party Chairman Clint Roberts. That precinct will now hold its caucus at the elementary school. He’s expecting at least triple the amount of attendance at all precincts compared to past caucuses.

Grand County Republican Party Chairman David Abbott is expecting “more-than-normal” numbers as well.

“There’s interest in the presidential polls, which is basically going to take place at the caucuses,” he said. “If we got 20 (people) per precinct, I would be happy.”

Caucuses are “important because they are one of the primary places where individuals get to voice their opinion,” Abbott said.

At the meetings, polling takes voters’ temperature on presidential candidates, data that is forwarded to party headquarters. And, delegates will be selected to represent at the county assembly and county delegates for the State Assembly. In the Democratic caucuses, opinions also will be shared on the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives candidates as well.

The caucuses are also a place to select party volunteers for future elections, and to petition topics of interest.

It’s an exciting year for Colorado’s Democrats, Roberts said, with the national convention hosted in Denver. For a Grand County voter, however, the road to the convention starts at home.

“If people have any aspirations of going to the National Convention, they should be participating every step of the way,” Roberts said.

With Democratic candidates Joan Fitz-Gerald and Mark Udall forerunners in Grand County, “There is a longish tradition of Democrats carrying in Grand County,” Roberts said. In the past 10 years, according to Roberts and Democratic Party Secretary John Dolan, they optimistically are seeing democratic blue take hold in a region historically red.

“Our motto is, ‘Grand County Democrats are turning Grand County purple,” he said.

“We’re enjoying a shift,” Dolan said. “It used to be if you were a Democrat in Grand County, you had to keep your head down.”

Yet the county remains Republican Party strong. There are more Republican party members than even unaffiliated in Grand County.

Dec. 5 was the deadline to become affiliated. At latest count, of the 10,708 total registered voters in Grand County, 3,629 are unaffiliated, 4,762 are Republicans and Democrats account for 2,271.

As many as 23 Green Party affiliates, 19 Libertarians, two Gun Owners Rights party affiliates and two Pro Life party members make up the rest of the pie.

On Feb. 5, so-called Super Tuesday, 24 states will hold primaries or caucuses, with 52 percent of all pledged Democratic Party delegates and 41 percent of the total Republican Party delegates at stake.

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


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