Moffat County GOP, Democratic caucuses taking shape

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K.C. Hume

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Brian Baxter

The Republican Party precinct caucuses are right around the corner and the Moffat County Republican Central Committee has made it easier for caucus goers to register.

KC Hume, Moffat County Republican Party chairman, announced Jan. 3 the launch of www.caucus.cologop.org, which allows registered Colorado Republicans interested in participating in local precinct caucuses to streamline the registration process online.

“Colorado Republicans are committed to investing in new technologies in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the upcoming 2012 elections,” Hume said in a news release. “I am pleased to announce our new caucus registration website will not only allow caucus goers to find their local caucus location, but also allow attendees to pre-register for their caucus.”

Pre-registration is optional and not a requirement for precinct caucus participation, Hume said.

“The purpose of the new website is to provide local Republicans with the convenience of locating their precinct and registering for their caucus ahead of time,” Hume said. “Those who plan on participating may register in person at their precinct the night of the caucus just like in the past.”

The Colorado Republican precinct caucus will take place beginning at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 statewide. There are 12 precincts in Moffat County.

Although pre-registration is optional, there are certain requirements local residents must meet to participate, including being a registered Republican as of Dec. 7, 2011, and residing in your precinct since Jan. 9.

However Colorado Republican precinct caucuses are designed to be a lot like a town meeting, Hume said. You must be a registered Republican to participate, but all residents are invited to attend.

“It truly is a community meeting made up of people from your general neighborhood,” Hume said. “It really is pretty fun to be apart of the political process on that level.”

The purpose of the precinct caucuses is two-fold, Hume said.

Caucus attendees will participate in a presidential candidate preference poll and also elect delegates to participate in the Moffat County Republican Assembly, both of which are conducted by secret ballot.

There are up to 94 county assembly positions, plus alternates, that will be elected Feb. 7.

The Moffat County Republican Assembly is the second step in the local political process and will take place March 24 at Sandrock Elementary School.

At that time, elected delegates will designate their preferred candidates to participate in the local Republican primary election should there be a multitude of contenders.

Local offices up in 2012 include two seats on the Moffat County Commission; 14th Judicial District Attorney; Colorado State House of Representatives District 57; and Colorado State Senate District 8.

Thus far, a handful of local residents have announced their candidacies, including Audrey Danner for Moffat County Commission in District 2; John Kinkaid for Moffat County Commission in District 1; Brett Barkey for 14th Judicial District Attorney; Randy Baumgardner and Jean White for State Senate District 8; and Bob Rankin for House District 57 (see related story on page 9).

In staying true to the party’s commitment to new technologies, Hume also announced Friday the local GOP website, www.moffatcountyrepublicans.net, has been revamped.

The Moffat County Republican Central Committee is also active online through its Facebook page.

Residents can stay up to date on news and events by typing Moffat County Republican Party in the Facebook search bar and clicking the “like” icon at the top of the page, Hume said.

As a precursor to events to come, Hume said the Moffat County Republican Party is hosting its semi-annual Lincoln Day Dinner fundraising event Jan. 21 at the Holiday Inn of Craig, 300 S. Colorado Highway 13.

Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at T&H Parts, 400 Taylor St., and at Pam’s Designs, 512 Yampa Ave.

The event will feature a cash bar beginning at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m., and addresses by Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call, State Senator Jean White, and State Representative Randy Baumgardner.

Tickets must be purchased by Jan. 13.

For more information on the Lincoln Day Dinner, call 629-3048 or 756-5202.

For the local Democratic Party, precinct caucuses work differently.

Rather than staging multiple caucuses by precinct, Democrats host one primary caucus, which is scheduled for March 6 at American Legion Post 62, 1055 Moffat County Road 7.

The purpose of the Democratic Party precinct caucus is the same — to elect delegates for the Moffat County Democratic Convention.

However, the Democratic Party does not allow secret ballots and all voting is done aloud.

Brian Baxter, Moffat County Democratic Party Central Committee treasurer, said he has not yet received word from the state on how many convention delegates are needed in Moffat County.

In addition, no democrats have announced candidacies for local office as of Jan. 7, Baxter said.

“If that stays the same, the local Democratic Party will more than likely combine the caucus and the convention into one event,” Baxter said.

For more information, call Moffat County Democratic Party Chairman Ted Crook at 824-2089.

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