Moffat County delegates readying for state party assemblies

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Joe Herod, a Craig City Council member, said sitting through speeches at the Republican state assembly can make for a long day.

But, Herod said attending the state assembly as a delegate is “part of being a Republican.”

“You need to come forward and do some of the things you need to do for the Republican Party,” he said. “One of them is going to your caucuses and your assemblies.”

The Republican assembly is Friday and Saturday in Loveland. Delegates at the assembly will decide which Republican candidates make it on the August primary ballot.

All delegates will vote on candidates for U.S. Senate, governor, treasurer and secretary of state. Moffat County delegates will also vote on candidates for Third Congressional District, and Colorado House District 57.

Candidates need 30 percent of the delegate vote to be placed on the primary ballot.

This year will be the third time Herod has been to a state delegate.

“I think it is part of our right as a United States citizen to step in and … do the things we need to do for our country,” he said. “For me, the political part of it is something that I enjoy and I like to be a part of.”

Herod said his role on the city council spurred him to get more involved with state-level politics.

“It is something that you learn from and makes you a better person,” he said.

Herod said he already knows which candidates he will vote for in the assembly.

Elaine Sullivan, Moffat County clerk and recorder and a county treasurer candidate, is a three-time state Republican delegate.

She said she is excited to attend the state assembly.

“I think it’ll be fun to hear the speeches,” Sullivan said. “You get to listen to other people too and their opinions. I just want Moffat County to have some say out there.”

The Republican assembly will include 3,559 delegates from across the state, 17 of which will be from Moffat County.

But, Sullivan said Moffat County’s relatively small number of delegates shouldn’t stop delegates from making the voices of the county heard.

“I think people have sat back too long,” she said. “We have people that are complaining and complaining about the government currently, and the only way to change it is if you get out and vote.”

Sullivan said she has an idea on which candidates she will vote for, but said the assembly helps determine if “that is the right choice or not.”

Rod Durham, a two-time delegate to the Republican state assembly, said everyone should be involved in politics and care about which candidates get elected.

“I think it is important as American citizens that we do get involved in the voting process,” he said.

Durham said he wants to be open minded heading into the assembly about who he will vote for.

Durham agreed with Sullivan that the number of delegates from Moffat County may be small, “but when you put a bunch of small groups together then you have something.”

Republicans won’t be the only residents making their voices heard this weekend.

Five Moffat County Democrats will be heading to Broomfield for their party’s state assembly, which also takes place Friday and Saturday.

Jo Ann Baxter said she has attended the state assembly “more times than I can remember.”

Baxter said the assembly is a great way to meet candidates and hear what they have to say.

“I enjoy being part of the process,” she said. “I enjoy knowing what is going on in the government, I enjoy listening to the debates and I enjoy the whole political process.

“I guess you could say that it is one of my hobbies.”

Sarah Turpin is a first-time state delegate. She decided to be a delegate after seeing the small number of Moffat County Democrats.

“I want to see how it works,” Turpin said. “I want to have my input and I don’t feel like I am just a rubber stamp.

“I don’t feel like my vote can be guaranteed, so I want to go and get more involved in the process.”

Brian Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or briansmith@craigdailypress.com.

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