GOP assembly Saturday |

GOP assembly Saturday

Gathering of Republicans could contain surprises

Mike Lawrence

The lack of a contested race won’t take the excitement out of Saturday’s Republican County Assembly, a local GOP official said.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” Routt County Republican Party chairwoman Jennifer Schubert-Akin said Thursday, hinting that candidates may emerge for November’s election.

She may be right — candidates have entered or withdrawn from three local campaigns during the past month, and the August primary is four months away.

At a county assembly less than five years ago, Schubert-Akin added, an unexpected candidate showed up and announced she was running for county commissioner against Nancy Stahoviak. A similar event could happen this year. Races for six county positions are uncontested in the Republican Party.

Saturday’s assembly convenes at 10 a.m. at Olympian Hall in the Howelsen Hill Lodge. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The assembly will feature official nominations for candidates, speeches, the election of delegates for the state assembly in May and discussion of 10 resolutions written during March’s precinct caucuses.

Declared Republican candidates are Paul Strong for District 3 county commissioner, Dick Klumker for county assessor, Kay Weinland for county clerk and recorder, Rob Ryg for county coroner, Ray Birch for county sheriff and Jeanne Whiddon for county treasurer.

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If another Republican enters any of those races, the GOP delegates elected at last month’s precinct caucuses will have work to do.

At a county assembly, delegates vote on candidates in their party who are in contested races. For two candidates to be on the primary ballot in August, each candidate must receive 30 percent or more of the votes from delegates at the county assembly.

Whichever candidate wins the higher percentage of delegate votes is listed on the top line of the primary ballot in August — a seemingly minor point that can make a big difference in votes.

If a candidate receives less than 30 percent but more than 10 percent of delegate votes at a county assembly, that candidate can petition his or her way onto the August ballot.

If a candidate receives less than 10 percent of votes at the county assembly, that candidate cannot petition and is ineligible for the primary.

Schubert-Akin said that between 85 and 105 delegates were elected in March. On Saturday, those delegates will elect 21 Republican delegates to attend the state party assembly May 19 and 20 in Colorado Springs.

And the delegates may have votes to cast for an as-yet-uncontested primary.

“I’ll tell you this: stay tuned,” Schubert-Akin said.

What: Routt County Republican Party’s County Assembly

When: 10 a.m. Saturday (registration begins at 9 a.m.)

Where: Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill, 845 Howelsen Parkway

Call: Jennifer Schubert-Akin, Routt County Republican chairwoman, at 871-9936