Turnout at local Democratic, Republican caucuses lower this year
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Both the Routt County Democratic and Republican parties held caucuses Saturday, March 7, to select precinct committee persons and delegates to county assemblies.
The caucus is the first step in determining candidates for nonpresidential races such as U.S. Senate and county offices.
“It was high energy. There was a lot of excitement for Election 2020,” Routt County Democrats Chairwoman Catherine Carson said. “We really feel this is a historical year.”
While the Democrats saw a decent turnout with a little over 130 people, the Republican caucus was lightly attended.
Routt County Republicans Chairwoman Geneva Taylor said the low turnout was likely because of the day of the caucus. This year it took place on a Saturday compared to being on a Tuesday in previous years.
“We always have a lot more than that when it’s on a Tuesday night,” Taylor said.
The Republicans also currently don’t have any local candidates.
Hayden Mayor Tim Redmond, a Democrat, is running for a spot on the Routt County Board of Commissioners and Democrat Tim Corrigan is running to retain his commissioner seat.
The lower numbers also could have been due to the state’s presidential primary election held Tuesday, March 3, just days before the caucuses.
Carson agreed that turnout was a little less than usual but took advantage of it. “When you have the smaller numbers, there’s a lot more in-depth discussion about issues and about candidates,” she said. “That gives everybody really an opportunity to chat with their neighbors about important issues and candidates.”
The next step is for both parties to attend the county assembly to vote on putting county candidates on the ballot and elect delegates to go on to state and congressional assemblies.
The Democrats allocated 78 delegates and alternates to attend the county assembly for the Democratic Party on Saturday, March 28 at Bud Werner Memorial Library.
A majority of the delegates were in support of former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper who is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner.
The Republican Party’s county assembly will take place Sunday, March 29, at Bud Werner Memorial Library.
To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.
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