Eagle County Democrats hold county assembly | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Democrats hold county assembly

EAGLE, Colorado – With the real action coming in November, only a few people turned out Thursday for the Eagle County Democrats’ county assembly.

“This room was overflowing four years ago,” assembly president Pat Hammon said. But, she said, there’s plenty of work and excitement for the local party faithful.

This year, about 39 people were expected, and that’s roughly the number that turned out.

“That’s not bad for an off year,” Roaring Fork Valley resident Doug Tucker said. By “off-year,” Tucker meant that there are no statewide Democratic primaries, and only one primary for a local or regional candidates – between Bruce Brown and Todd Barson in the race for the party’s nomination for district attorney.

It was Brown’s candidacy that brought out county native Heidi McCollum.

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“I campaigned for him for district attorney in 2004,” McCollum said. When Brown called last year to say he’d again run for election, McCollum quickly agreed.

“I’m confident in saying I know what the community and county need, and Eagle County needs Bruce Brown.”

While the crowd was small, it was enthusiastic, and it got an old-fashioned stump speech from congressional candidate Sal Pace.

Pace, a state legislator from Pueblo, is running to replace incumbent Republican Scott Tipton of Cortez in the Third Congressional District. About two-thirds of the county is now in that district following this year’s congressional redistricting.

Pace gave the faithful what they wanted, telling the group he planned to put “practicality over ideology.”

Pace followed with a litany of his complaints about Tipton, claiming the incumbent voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood, and against a proposal to study the effects of oil shale explore exploration on Western Slope water.

Pace drew loud applause from the group when he claimed he’s currently out-polling Tipton, and said he’s so far raised more money for his campaign.

“That’s enthusiasm,” Pace said.

While the faithful heard what they came for Thursday, Jill Ryan, who’s running for Eagle County Commissioner – hoping to replace fellow Democrat Peter Runyon, who can’t run again due to term limits – said she expects to see more enthusiasm build as November draws near.

“In the summer you tend to see the party really come out,” Ryan said. “But there’s a lot to be excited about this year.”

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