Turnout at Moffat County Republican caucus sees relatively low numbers | CraigDailyPress.com

Turnout at Moffat County Republican caucus sees relatively low numbers

Democratic caucus pulls in similar numbers from previous year

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John F. Russell

The Moffat County Democratic and Republican parties held caucuses Saturday, March 7, to select precinct committee persons and delegates to county assemblies.

The Republican caucus was held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Moffat County High School, while the Democratic caucus was held at 1 p.m. at the Center of Craig.

The county caucus is the first step in determining candidates for non-presidential races such as U.S. Senate and county offices.

Usually, county caucuses are held on a Tuesday night, but due to a statewide decision, Saturday, March 7 was the selected date for county caucuses, causing numbers to drop slightly for the Republican caucus.

“Numbers were certainly down at the caucus,” Moffat County Republican Party Chairman Doug Winters said. “A lot of that was because it was held on a Saturday. In the past it was held on a Tuesday evening, but because of the presidential primary on the Tuesday before, we had to schedule it for a Saturday.”

The Colorado Secretary of State stated that major parties may have county caucuses be held on the first Saturday after the presidential primary, so it was a statewide caucus and not just a county caucus.

At the time of press, Winters said that the Republican caucus didn’t have exact numbers from the caucus, but that 79 of a possible 82 delegates were selected for the March 28 county assembly at Sand Rock Elementary.

Additionally, there are four set Republicans running for County Commissioner seats this fall. Incumbent District 1 County Commissioner Don Cook is running for re-election, while current City Councilman Tony Bohrer will oppose him.

In District 2, former County Commissioner Chuck Grobe will run against Melody Villard, with current District 2 Commissioner Ray Beck declining to run for re-election.

At the Democratic caucus, Democratic Party Vice Chairwoman Jo Ann Baxter reported that 18 voting democrats attended, while two independents showed up on Saturday.

“That’s about what we’ve had in the past, numbers wise,” Baxter said. “We’re weren’t really surprised. Numbers were down because the presidential primary was already decided, and they weren’t that interested or there isn’t much enthusiasm for U.S. Senate race right now.”

Baxter added that Karl Hanlon, a Democrat seeking election, showed up at the Democratic caucus.

Hanlon will seek the party’s nomination to challenge Republican state Sen. Bob Rankin of Carbondale for the District 8 seat, which represents Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties in the Colorado Legislature. Former Eagle County commissioner and Carbondale resident Arn Menconi announced that he, too, would be seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the District 8 senate seat.

While the Republicans will hold their county assembly later this month, the Democrats held theirs immediately after the caucus on Saturday. Of the 18 voters in attendance, 10 voted for former Colorado House of Representative Andrew Romanoff for U.S. Senate, while five voted for former Governor John Hickenlooper for U.S. Senate. Three voters were uncommitted on Saturday.

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