Grand County caucuses to kick off midterm election season

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This year is a midterm election year, which means that across the country, precincts will come together to hold their Democratic and Republican caucuses. In Grand County, the Democratic caucus will take place virtually on March 1 and the Republican caucus will take place in person on March 5.

Participating in constituency caucus is a great way for residents to determine what issues and candidates a party will endorse. At the caucus, participants elect their fellow citizens as delegates to the Grand County Assembly. At the assembly, delegates vote on the candidates who will appear in the June 28 primary ballot. In the primary, the candidates will compete for a seat in the November general election.

John Mintken, chairman of the Grand County Republican Party, said the best option for joining the political process is to become a delegate.



“It’s not difficult to become a delegate here, because there aren’t too many people,” he says. “That’s how you elect who you want to run, who you want to run for.”

Once a person is selected as a county assembly delegate, they also have the option of becoming a state-level delegate.



“We have 19 delegates to represent Grand County in the state assembly,” Mintken said. Although that number seems low, Mintken said the number of delegates is based on population.

To participate as a caucus member or be selected as a delegate, a person must reside in their constituency and be a registered voter with their party as of February 7. However, everyone is encouraged to attend the caucuses. Even if someone can’t attend, it’s still a great way to learn about the political process.

“Even Democrats can come and listen,” Mintken said of the Republican caucus.

Just as important as the election of delegates, constituency caucuses allow attendees to vote on issues they would like to see on the ballot and hear from candidates running for local office.

“One of the benefits of rural communities like ours is that we can ask a lot of questions and have one-on-one time (with the candidates),” said Grand County Democratic co-chair Zachariah James Falconer-Stout. Party. “We don’t vote for the president, but there are a lot of important races we’re in.”

Two candidates who will be in the Democratic caucus are Rep. Julie McCluskie, who is running for House District 13, and Rep. Dylan Roberts, who is running for Senate District 8.

At the Feb. 21 meeting of Greater County Democrats, Roberts and McCluskie discussed issues they are working on, such as health care policy, West Slope water needs and the underfunded education system.

“We’re always trying to care for the most vulnerable among us…focusing on affordability issues that challenge those of us who love our small communities,” Rep. McCluskie said.

Currently, Rep. Roberts is working on a bill studying the negative impacts of transmountain water diversions on Grand Lake.

“With devastating wildfires, drier summers and warmer winters, water will be the most pressing issue at the state level,” he said.

Roberts is also working on a bill that would allow counties to use lodging tax funds to create affordable housing, child care or other programs that mountain towns need.

“If we don’t do something transformational about our housing crisis, our childcare needs and the overall cost of living, we’re going to lose…the workers we need to keep our communities character.” the way we love them,” Roberts said. .

Mintken said his party is also focusing on the housing crisis during its caucus.

“Our main issue is affordable housing, which goes back to why we vote for certain people, like the commissioner,” Mintken said. “Everyone in our county is looking for help. We can’t find anyone to work here because they can’t afford to live there. …Or if they find a place to live, it’s a room for $1,500 (per month) or something.

Although the caucus is small, it is the best way for residents to influence the issues that matter to them, such as the housing crisis and water conservation.

“The caucus is most important for local issues,” Mintken said, adding that several local candidates will be present at their constituency caucuses.

“It’s important for everyone to know that the best way to get involved and make a difference is through this caucus system,” Mintken said. “To make a change, you have to… make your voice heard. It’s so important, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, to just get involved.

Falconer-Stout conceded that the very issues the candidates are tackling, such as a lack of child care and affordable housing, could affect a person’s ability to become politically involved.

“But it’s a basic right of everyone … to be able to participate,” he said. “Democracy works best when people are involved in healthy and constructive ways.”

The Democratic caucus will take place virtually for all precincts on March 1 at 7 p.m. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87643105085. Phone call numbers will also be available by contacting Grand County Democrats at [email protected]for those who don’t have access to Zoom.

The Republican Caucus will be held on March 5 at 7 p.m. at the following locations: Precincts 1 and 10 at the Grand Lake Center, Precincts 2 and 3 at the Granby Library, Precincts 4 and 5 at the Kremmling Extension Room, Precincts 6, 7, 9, 11, and 12 at East Grand Fire Hall in Fraser, and Precinct 8 at Hot Sulfur Springs City Hall.

The Republican County Assembly will be held March 19 at 1 p.m. at Middle Park High School. Anyone can attend meetings, but only delegates can vote.

“We have our assembly earlier than most counties, so we’ll have politicians who want to speak to ours,” Mintken said.

Some state-level candidates will speak, such as Greg Lopez, former mayor of Parker, running for governor. However, Mintken said no candidate was set in stone.

The Democratic County Assembly will be held in person March 12 at 1 p.m. at Middle Park High School.

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