Turnout for Garfield County assemblies is likely to be high | PostIndependent.com

Turnout for Garfield County assemblies is likely to be high

Phillip YatesPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS The turnout for Republican and Democratic caucuses in Garfield County last month was the biggest both local parties have seen in years.And party leaders expect more large crowds for the two parties county assemblies and conventions on Saturday.Certainly I believe this will be one of the largest (conventions and assemblies) we had in decades, said Ed Sands, Garfield County Democratic Party chair, citing the large Democratic caucus turnout.The Garfield County Republicans will hold its party county assembly and convention at Rifle High School, and it will begin at 8 a.m., said Milt Blakey, chair of the local party. The Democrats will hold their county convention and assembly at the Colorado Mountain College West Garfield Campus in Rifle, and it will begin at 10 a.m., Sands said.Both county assemblies are open to the public. However, only delegates elected at the Feb. 5 party caucuses are allowed to vote at Saturdays county assemblies.At both county assemblies, delegates will vote on local Garfield County commissioner candidates, who all have to receive at least 30 percent of the vote to be placed on the primary ballot. A candidate who receives less than 30 percent of the vote can petition onto the ballot.Republicans John Martin, who is in his third term as a county commissioner, and Mike Samson, Rifle High Schools dean of students, have announced their candidacies for the District 1 and District 2 races, respectively. Carbondale artist Stephen Bershenyi and Rifle attorney Steve Carter, both Democrats, have declared their intentions to run for county commissioner seats in the District 1 and District 2 races, respectively.Both Blakey and Sands have previously said they dont believe anyone else will put their names forward as a county commissioner candidate at the county assembly.At both Republican and Democratic assemblies, participants will also select delegates for higher statewide nominating assemblies that will select party candidates for elected positions that include Colorados United States senator, the states 3rd Congressional District, the 8th state Senate District, the 61st and 57th state House District positions and the 9th Judicial District attorney.Current field of candidates in other racesSteamboat Springs resident and Democrat Ken Brenner announced his candidacy for the 8th state Senate district in January. Republican state Rep. Al White, R-Hayden, has also announced an intention to run for that position. Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, who currently represents the 61st House District, does not currently have a Republican opponent. Democrat Todd Hagenbuch, of Phippsburg, is expected to say he is running for the 57th House District position on Saturday, Sands said. Both Hagenbuch and Curry are expected to address Garfield County Democrats on Saturday.Daniel Korkowski of Grand Lake, and Randy Baumgardner, of Hot Sulphur Springs, have both said they intend to run as Republicans for the 57th House District position, Blakey said.On Saturday, both parties will also select delegates at their county conventions who will later help choose delegates to send to their respective national conventions in Denver and St. Paul. Republican and Democratic county conventions are only held in presidential election years.Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117pyates@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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