Democrats to define goals | CraigDailyPress.com

Democrats to define goals

Dan Olsen

— It’s not an easy thing being a Moffat County Democrat.

The area party estimates they lost 100 members last fall when about that number of people changed party affiliations in order to vote in the primary election. The local Democrats had no candidates in the race.

The first meeting for the Moffat County Democrats on Wednesday evening at Loudy-Simpson Park exposed a number of areas they need work on.

“Recruitment, publicity and fundraising,” party chairman Ted Crook said. “We need to build the community first, and the members will step up.”

For Rick Hammel, a southern California transplant to Northwest Colorado 14 years ago, the transition was a shock.

“Politically, socially and economically, everything was different here,” he said. “I’m going to get involved and stay involved. We’ve got to get things moving in the right direction.”

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Hammel said he would not be changing parties to vote in future primaries. He would rather wait for the General Election in November, providing the Democrats can find “a few people to run.”

Treasurer for the party, Brian Baxter, was optimistic about the future of the democrats in Moffat County.

“When my wife and I moved here 30 years ago, the Democratic Party made us feel welcome, and valued all of us,” he said. “Then we realized they were starved for anybody.”

Baxter shrugs off recent failures by the party and reminds everyone that Ross Perot won the county’s vote in 2002.

Discussion during the evening centered on defining exactly what the party stands for in Moffat County, and creating a mission statement to guide actions for the upcoming November election.

“In the coming weeks, we will be developing our identity,” Crook said. “We will focus on environmental and educational issues. Our diversity is what separates us from the Republicans.”

One plan that began to take shape at Wednesday’s meeting calls for an Ed Johnson dinner-fundraiser, referring to the Democratic three-time governor and US Senator elected from Moffat County in 1933.

Two-dozen people attended the first meeting of 2007 for the Moffat County Democratic Party, and the first decision passed by the group, was to meet again at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at a location yet to be decided.