Fresh blood leading Garfield County Democrats, Republicans | PostIndependent.com

Fresh blood leading Garfield County Democrats, Republicans

Garfield County's two main political parties have some new faces in leadership with Allina Robertson chairing the Democrats and Carrie Couey chairing the Republicans.

Robertson, a Roaring Fork Valley native now living in Canyon Creek, became politically active while at college at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Last year she finished her master's in speech-language pathology. She was a member of the college Democrats, served on the Boulder County Democrats executive committee, still serves on the Colorado Young Democrats board and has helped for the Roaring Fork Valley Youth Democrats. She has also served on Colorado's Democratic State Central Committee since 2015.

Robertson said she became deeply involved in politics a couple of years ago when a couple of bills involving speech pathology were introduced at the General Assembly.

"Once one of my professors said that our work is to be the voice for people who have no voice, which is an idea that's stayed with me.

"I ran because I think there are a lot of people we need to give a voice, that need to be heard. We're going to support progressive ideas and candidates and focus on creating conversations, working together regardless of party.

Robertson wants the Democrats to put more energy into reaching independent voters and supporting candidates who can speak to both sides of the aisle. "I think we need to run a better campaign for sure," she said regarding the Democrats' challenge of the Republican Commissioner John Martin in the November election.

Already she's been in touch with people who're interested in running for county commissioner, whereas all three Garfield County commissioners are currently Republicans. The Democrats will also be looking for a solid candidate to challenge Rep. Scott Tipton.

"We want to let Scott Tipton know that we're watching his votes," said Robertson.

Carrie Couey, from a Rifle ranching family, recently assumed leadership of the Garfield County Republicans.

"I pursued this position because I felt the middle class, especially those that are conservative, needed a voice," she said.

Couey worked in retail at City Market for 10 years, much of that time in management, attended Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) for accounting and worked in the geotech industry for a few years before working exclusively on her family's ranch.

The Garfield County Republicans can ensure they retain their strength by focusing on voter turnout efforts, she said. "We've been very good at that. Republicans turn out better than Democrats in this county."

The Republicans have also brought a "Spanish-speaking liaison" onto the team, said Couey. And they're planning some small get-to-know-each-other events in the municipalities, she said.

"And not just Republicans are invited. If we all get together, we find we have a lot more in common than we have differences," said Couey.

The new Republican chair also wants to focus more on training for members, education and finding creative ways to promote more civic involvement.

"After we've been out of school for many years, we forget how the branches of government work and the roles they take on; it's good to have a refresher."