Precinct caucuses tonight

Caucus locations

All caucuses are held at 7 p.m. Feb. 5. In the interest of saving time, precincts would like those participating to show up early, if possible.

Democrat caucus

All precincts report to the Center of Craig.

Republican caucuses

Precinct Location

1 Ridgeview Elementary

2 Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion

3 Craig Intermediate School

4 Ladore Hall at Brown's Park

5 Moffat County High School Library

6 Maybell Community Center

7 Craig Middle School

8 Dinosaur*

9 East Elementary

10 Hamilton Hall

11 Sunset Elementary

12 Moffat County School District

Administration Building

13 Colorado State University Extension Office,

basement conference room

To find out what precinct caucus to attend, contact Lila Herod, Moffat County Clerk and Recorder's Office chief deputy, at 824-9104.

Precincts are being instructed to hold presidential polls first.

*The Moffat County Republican Central Committee has not found a person to host the caucus for precinct 8, Central Committee Chairman Ron Danner said. If no one volunteers, precinct 8 will not have a caucus, he added. A precinct's residents are not permitted to take part in caucuses for other precincts.

— Local political party leaders, despite the hours they expect to spend after work at public forums, are excited to see what happens tonight.

They're excited to see what Moffat County residents and the nation have to say.

Tonight is Colorado caucus night, not to mention "Super Tuesday," and figures to shape a large part of November's presidential election.

Colorado is one of 24 states holding presidential nominee events. The state is one of eight holding caucuses as opposed to primary elections.

In total, tonight's state nomination events nationwide carry 2,075 of 4,049 possible delegate votes for Democrat candidates and 1,081 of 2,380 for Republicans.

The presidential race figures to be the top draw this evening, said Ron Danner, Moffat County Republican Central Committee chairman, and Ted Crook, Moffat County Democrats chairman.

"Most of the local races are uncontested, at least on the Republican side," Danner said. "This is the first presidential preference poll happening in this state. This is the only way to voice your opinion and be heard. It's not a binding vote, but it does influence the candidates, I would think."

Both officials expect good-sized turnouts because the national political landscape has become contentious terrain to navigate.

"There have been a number of calls, and it's kind of a significant night for the nation," Crook said. "This is probably when the Democratic candidate will be decided. It may be close and tight, but if there is even what would be a handful of delegates between the two (Democrat presidential candidates), I would think whoever has the most afterward will be the nominee."

Both parties plan to conduct the presidential poll first before discussing local races or electing delegates.

Caucuses begin at 7 p.m., but have no set deadline to finish except for the presidential poll.

Neither Danner nor Crook expect the caucuses to last very long, but it's hard to say when it comes to forums of this nature, Crook said.

"There are the platform" speeches, the Democratic chair said. "Some people are longwinded, and some people aren't. We may have someone step forward for a local race, too."

Currently, two Moffat County Commission seats are up for reelection, though only incumbents Tom Gray and Saed Tayyara have filed their candidacy.

Democratic delegates elected at their caucus will go on to participate in the Democrat county convention on a date to be determined.

County delegates elected there will go to the state convention May 16 and 17 in Colorado Springs. Elected state delegates will participate in the national convention August 25 to 28 in Denver.

Republican delegates advance in the same fashion. Organizers plan to hold the county convention March 1, the state convention May 31 in Broomfield and the national convention Sept. 1 to 4 in Minneapolis.

Danner hopes people interested in becoming politically active this year recognize the importance of precinct caucuses.

"If you wanted, for instance, to be a national delegate at the national convention, you would have to start at the precinct caucus," he said. "Get out and participate. This is the grassroots effort of regular people."

Collin Smith can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

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