County Republicans begin presidential process
EDWARDS — County Republicans from 30 precincts filled the Battle Mountain High School cafeteria on Tuesday night.
Eagle County Republicans, instead of taking a straw poll for presidential candidate preference, elected delegates and alternates for the county assembly as well as precinct captains and discussed resolutions to be forwarded to the state to be considered at its convention.
An unofficial poll based on hands raised by people remaining toward the end of the night gave a glimpse into what county Republicans are thinking. Marco Rubio received the most hands raised with 48, Donald Trump got 39, and Ted Cruz got 32. John Kasich also got support from 23 people, while two people were for Ben Carson.
“This is the beginning,” said Kaye Ferry, chairwoman of the Eagle County Republicans. “This is grassroots Republican politics. … If you want to have an impact at all, it starts right here.”
Ferry said there have been many questions about the caucus, which is different this year because there is no official presidential preference poll. “People are really angry about it,” she said.
Some states moving up convention dates in attempts to have more of an influence on the election are being penalized with a loss of delegates they can send to the national convention.
“We weren’t sure how they would come down if we went ahead and had this preference poll,” Ferry said, “so we decided we weren’t willing to take the risk.”
County Republicans are encouraged to reach out to officials at the House of Representatives and Senate to change the policy.
“It’s my first time having this new caucus-type atmosphere,” said Deep Dechoudhury, of Edwards, who is impressed most with presidential candidate Marco Rubio.
Dechoudhury is achieving higher education as a sports agent and personal trainer, and student debts and jobs are a key issue for him.
Jeff Miller, of Minturn, was also feeling out the new Super Tuesday atmosphere. He said the biggest issues the United States faces include debt and security, as well as the struggling economy.
“It’s amazing how a robust economy can cure all of those ills,” he said.
Miller is also intrigued by Rubio, saying he the “most electable” candidate. But, after early returns, “Trump may be running away with it,” he said.
Republican Michael Cacioppo, of Avon, recently announced he is running for House District 26 against Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush.
Locally, Cacioppo sees Interstate 70 congestion, clean water and fire protection as key issues moving forward.
“It’s a good opportunity for Republicans to come together — like-minded people that are very concerned about the future of our state — and do their civic duty,” Cacioppo said Tuesday night. “That’s what this is all about.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.