Local party stalwart elected to Democratic National Committee
Deb Marquez is going nationwide.Marquez has been running Eagle County’s Democratic party practically since there have been Democrats in Eagle County. She’s now one of the newest members of the Democratic National Committee, elected at the state convention to represent Colorado.Marquez will be sworn in during July’s Democratic National Convention in Boston. She becomes the DNC’s first Western Slope representative since Aspen’s Tom Oliver almost 20 years ago.As a Western Slope resident and a Latino woman, Marquez said her possibilities to serve the national party are endless.
“It’s very exciting. People from the Western Slope are pleased to have someone go to Washington from the mountains, not just from Colorado,” said Marquez. “There are so many opportunities to get involved with things like encouraging Latino voters and women’s issues.”Colorado Democrats elect DNC members every four years. Marquez said she was encouraged to run by peers and colleagues. During the elections at the state convention in Pueblo, all the Eagle County delegates came on stage to second her nomination together.She becomes one of more than 400 Democrats nationwide who were elected to the volunteer position. The DNC is the central committee of the national party, and implements all its programs and policies.Marquez said the Democratic Party is alive and well in Eagle County and the state, and a large turnout at the state convention proved that.
“We need to thank people like Dennis Kucinich,” said Marquez. “I hate to say it, but we also must thank George Bush. We want to get back to the grass roots of the Democratic Party.”Howard Dean and some others have inspired us to do that,” she added. “That’s what I hope to bring to the DNC, and I hope to go forward with that message.”Democrats also revealed their grass roots when they bucked the status quo and party bosses, voting to put Mike Miles on the top line of the senate primary ballot over the party’s current favorite son, Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar.Miles and Salazar will compete in a run-off in August. Miles was at the Eagle County Democratic assembly and dazzled the audience, Marquez said.
“He came out with much more support than he came in with,” said Marquez. “That’s true for all the county assemblies he attended, and he attended most of them.”Marquez estimated that almost 70 percent of the delegates to this year’s state Democratic convention had never attended the event before. She said that explains a great deal of Miles’ success.But whoever the Democrats choose in August to face the Republican nominee for the senate seat being vacated by Republican Ben Nighthorse-Campbell, candidates for both sides will need to raise a mountain of money. The campaign will cost an estimated $1 million per month, per candidate.”There’s got to be a better way,” said Marquez. “We as citizens, regardless of party, need to help find a good solution to that.”