Democrats elect assembly delegates |

Democrats elect assembly delegates

Post Independent Photo/Kelley CoxDemocrats from multiple precincts gathered in their respective groups at the Garfield County courthouse Tuesday evening.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” More people than ever before attended Garfield County’s Democrat precinct caucuses Tuesday night, according to Don Kaufman, Garfield County Democratic Party chair.

“We had a record turnout,” said Kaufman. “We were blown away by the response.”

About 50 people from Glenwood’s eight precincts ” including a man from Great Britain, a couple of toddlers, and three Republicans who voiced their disapproval of the current Bush administration ” gathered in Room 301 at the Garfield County Courthouse, spilling over into an adjoining room.

“The precinct caucus is the most fun and enjoyable part of the political process,” said Kaufman, addressing the crowd at the beginning of the meeting. “Thank you for pulling together and being here tonight.”

Among other agenda items, registered Democrats at the Glenwood meeting ” and at caucus meetings in Carbondale, New Castle, Silt, Rifle and Parachute ” voted for delegates and alternates to represent their precincts at the Democrats’ county assembly, to be held on Saturday, May 1, at Glenwood Springs High School.

They also voted for candidates for U.S. president and Colorado’s U.S. senator. Countywide, delegates cast the most votes for John Kerry and Ken Salazar, respectively (see box next page).

After Janette Kaufman read the state caucus rules aloud to the crowd, chair Don Kaufman, Janette’s son, introduced Bill Evans. Evans in turn made a pitch for John Salazar, one of four Democratic candidates running for the 3rd District congressional seat.

“His character and depth of knowledge as a fifth-generation Colorado farmer and legislator is why I’ve chosen to put all my energy behind John,” Evans said.

Greg Jeung, a Glenwood Springs Democrat running for Garfield County Commissioner, also addressed the group.

Jeung told the crowd the three main issues facing Garfield County that he’s focusing on are energy resource development, public transportation and creating more efficient communication and collaborations with the county’s municipalities and school districts.

Following opening remarks, neighbors gathered at eight long conference tables, each one representing a Glenwood neighborhood, or precinct.

Precinct 7, which incorporates much of Glenwood’s downtown neighborhood, topped out with 22 people in attendance. Although most precincts had healthy attendance, two precincts drew just one person each.

Scott Fleming of Precinct 5, near CMC’s Spring Valley campus, and Rosa O’Leary of Precinct 7, which encompasses the Park West, Glenwood Park and Park East neighborhoods, sat at a table together, working through their caucus paperwork and election processes.

“I’m surprised I’m the only one who showed up,” said O’Leary, who said this was the first precinct caucus she has attended. “I wasn’t planning on learning about this process this way, but I wanted to be here to participate on the local level.”

Precinct 6 finished up business first by choosing their delegates quickly and voting on presidential and senate candidates. The precinct, in south Glenwood Springs, encompasses a huge area of land, though only a small portion is actually inhabited by voting humans.

“We’re the squirrel vote,” said the precinct’s Sharon Jensen with a laugh.

Some precinct groups chose to discuss local and national issues, such as the county’s gas and oil development and the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

“Precinct caucuses give people a chance to talk over these issues,” said Kaufman. “Whether or not they’ll be incorporated into the Garfield County Democrat’s platform is to be seen, but the caucuses are a good place for discussion.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

Although results from Carbondale and Silt are not yet available, the following results outline how Democratic precinct caucus delegates voted Tuesday night, based on votes reported by precincts in Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Rifle and Parachute. These votes are not binding, though they gave party members an idea of how other Democrats in the county are leaning.

Garfield County delegate totals:

For U.S. president:

John Kerry 29

Dennis Kucinich 3

Howard Dean 2

For U.S. Senate:

Ken Salazar 20

Mike Miles 13

Glenwood Springs:

For U.S. president:

John Kerry 18

Dennis Kucinich 3

For U.S. Senate:

Ken Salazar 10

Mike Miles 8

Uncommitted 3

New Castle:

For U.S. president:

John Kerry 6

For U.S. Senate:

Ken Salazar 4

Mike Miles 2


For U.S. president:

John Kerry 5

Howard Dean 2

For U.S. Senate:

Ken Salazar 5

Mike Miles 1


For U.S. president:


For U.S. Senate:

Ken Salazar: 1

– Improve the economy

– Responsible growth

– Quality education

– Clean environment

– Reproductive choice

– Protect the Constitution

– Responsible resource development

– Safe, fast transportation

– Protect social security

– First-rate health care

– Vote for Kerry

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