Harry Kottcamp: The caucus process, you do have a voice
I grew up in Pennsylvania where we did not use a caucus process. When I moved to Colorado in the mid-70’s I heard about the caucus process but I never really understood it. I had always heard about the caucuses held in Iowa, and just assumed that it was similar. How wrong I was.
I retired and moved to Granby in 2002 and attended my first caucus in Granby. My conclusion is that many Coloradans don’t understand the Colorado caucus process; therefore I wrote this article.
Grand County is divided into 12 precincts. Each precinct, lead by a precinct chairman, holds a caucus every second year. So what’s the purpose of these caucuses?
Each party gets to define how their caucus process works. I will describe how the Republican process works (because that’s what I know).
The Colorado Republican Party sets the date for the caucus. This year our Republican Party has set the caucus date and time as Feb. 7, at 7 p.m.
At the caucus, the precinct chairman and co-chairman are elected. Delegates to the Grand County Republican Assembly (scheduled for March 11 at the Middle Park High School) are also elected. Most importantly, each precinct caucus elects one delegate to the Colorado Republican Convention (scheduled for April 14 in Denver).
The elected precinct chairman and co-chairman are part of the Grand County Republican Central Committee and elect the Grand County Republican chairman. At the Grand County Republican Assembly, the county delegates will elect six at-large delegates to the Colorado Republican Convention.
Each caucus may propose resolutions that are sent forward to the Grand County Republican Assembly. That Assembly considers resolutions and may recommend such resolutions to the Colorado Republican Party for consideration by the state convention as part of the Republican Platform.
A straw poll is also conducted at the caucus, and the results are combined for the county and then aggregated at the state level. This straw poll has no real impact except to indicate where the Republican Party faithful (i.e., those who attended the caucus) stand.
At the Republican State Convention in Denver, the delegates chosen at the caucuses and county assemblies get to vote on who should be sent as voting delegates to the National Republican Convention. There is no primary for president in Colorado. The delegates elected to go to the National Convention may be “pledged” to a particular presidential candidate or they may be “uncommitted.”
Delegates to the state Convention may be pledged to one candidate or they may be uncommitted. So when you go to the caucus you should understand to whom the delegate is pledged, for whom you vote.
So, please plan on attending the Grand County Republican Caucus and choose your delegates wisely. It determines the direction of the Republican Party. You do have a voice.
Chairman, Grand County Republican Party
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.