Routt County Democrats weigh in on gubernatorial candidates at caucuses
March 9, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County Democrats strongly favor former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy as their top candidate for governor in the upcoming election.
Local Democrats made their preference known during a non-binding poll at county caucuses this week.
Kennedy earned 58 percent of the vote in the Routt County poll, while 20 percent of local Democrats said former State Senator Mike Johnston was their top choice.
Congressman Jared Polis earned 9 percent of the vote, Erik Underwood got just under 1 percent and 11 percent were undecided.
Routt County Democratic Party Chairwoman Catherine Carson said more than 220 people participated in the party's caucuses.
Democrats heard from local, state and national candidates during the caucuses.
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"It was high energy," Carson said. "I think a lot of it comes from the quality of the candidates, who are true public servants who can make a difference. There's also a mass problem in Washington, and this is the first step to correcting that."
The preference poll for governor in Routt County largely mirrored what Democrats saw at the state level.
Statewide results showed Kennedy receiving 50 percent of the more than 23,000 votes that were cast. Polis earned 33 percent of the statewide vote, and Johnston came in third with almost 9 percent.
Carson said she thinks Kennedy polled well in Routt County because of the high number of trips she has made to the area.
“She’s had a lot of activity and visibility in Routt,” Carson said.
Republicans also held caucuses this week to select delegates to the upcoming county assembly, where it will be decided which local candidates make the ballot.
"They went really well," acting Routt County Republican Party Chairwoman Geneva Taylor said. "A couple of caucuses were light in turnout, but it looks like it went pretty well."
Taylor didn't have a count of how many Republicans participated in the caucuses, but she estimated there were an average of 14 to 15 attendees in the 18 county precincts.
Republicans did not conduct any polls regarding statewide candidates.
There is only one local race where a party has more than one candidate running for the position, and it's in the race for county treasurer on the Republican side.
The Republican candidates include Lane Iacovetto, Routt County's deputy clerk and recorder, and Patrick Karschner, who is currently the county's chief deputy treasurer.
Taylor said the candidates need 30 percent of the delegate count at the county assembly to qualify for the ballot.
If both candidates qualify, they will face each other in a primary.