Now we’re on the home stretch of the political nominating process in this non-presidential year.
To review how we got here, we started with the Eagle County Caucus on March 4 at Battle Mountain High School where 24 precincts met along with two precincts that gathered in Burns and four in the Roaring Fork Valley. They grouped by precinct to elect their representatives to the Central Committee as well as delegates and alternates to the County Assembly.
At the County Assembly on March 15, delegates and alternates filled the Eagle County Chambers to vote on candidates to represent them on the primary ballot on June 24. The next action taken was to elect delegates and alternates to the District and State Assemblies in Boulder on April 11 and 12. They also considered resolutions that had been forwarded from the caucus and voted on those to be sent to the Colorado GOP for consideration as additions to the party platform.
So that’s what’s happened so far. The next steps are the District Assemblies on Friday and the State Assembly on Saturday.
The District Assemblies include Congressional Districts 2 and 3, Senate District 5, and House District 26. Judicial District 5 includes Eagle, Clear Creek, Lake and Summit however it does not have an election this year so it will not meet.
Congressional District 2 covers eastern Eagle County plus Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Grand, Jefferson, Larimer, Park and Summit.
Congressional District 3 includes western Eagle and Alamosa, Archuleta, Pueblo, Conejos, Costilla, Custer, Delores, Delta, Garfield, Gunnlson, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, Lake, La Plata, Mesa, Mineral, Moffat Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache, San Juan, and San Miguel.
Senate 5 includes Eagle, Chaffee, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Lake, and Pitkin. House District 26 includes Eagle and Routt.
All of these District Assemblies will meet for the express purpose of choosing which candidates will represent the Republican party on the primary ballot in June, The same voting requirement applies as did at the County Assembly. Candidates will each be give time to make their appeal to the delegates after which ballots will be distributed, voted and counted. Any candidate receiving 70 percent of the vote of the delegates will be the only candidate on the ballot. Those candidates who receive more than 30 percent of the vote will appear on the primary ballot, those who receive less than 10 percent will not, and those who receive between 10 and 30 percent may appear on the primary ballot if they petition on to the ballot by collecting signatures.
The State Assembly follows the next day. Candidates for US Senate, governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and treasurer will follow the same procedure as above to round out the Republican slate for the primary election on June 24. Another process for placement on the primary ballot is through the petition process which allows a candidate to by pass the assemblies altogether by meeting specific signature requirements.
Something a lot of people don’t know is that even if a candidate has no opposition, they are required to go through this process and appear on the primary ballot.
A change, in my opinion for the better, this year is the move of the primary election to an earlier spot in the process. Primary candidates have a tendency to unnecessarily beat each other up which in the long run does not benefit the candidate, the party or the electorate.
Shortening that process and arriving at a candidate earlier in the game will create a better environment and hopefully a more civilized process.
So that’s it. All that’s left now is the primary election and then the general. The entire process from beginning to end is grass roots politics at its most basic level and it’s what separates us from most other countries.
It represents every citizen’s chance to participate and be heard in the political process. It is a system to be cherished and fostered. It is a system that should be embraced, participated in, and shared. It is a system that parts of the world envy, fight and die for. And unfortunately, too many voters here take it for granted. Make sure you don’t.
Kaye Ferry, chairwoman of the Eagle County Republican Party, can be reached at email@example.com and 970-376-5100.