Why a Caucus?

by Marcy Freeburg

HUERFANO/LAS ANIMAS— Now that the Bronco’s season is over, it’s time in Colorado for the season that will actually affect your day to day living. It’s the 2018 political season. I know, nobody likes this season, but I’m writing this article to help you see why it’s important, and what you can do to be a participant. (And you don’t need to get tackled like you would if you were a participant in the Broncos season!).

The first part of the 2018 political season is the caucus. But didn’t we the people decide that there would be a primary? We sure did, but that didn’t eliminate the caucus, and for that we should all be glad. Both parties (and you have to be registered with either the Democrat or Republican party to participate) will hold their precinct caucus on March 6 at 7 pm. It’s a state law, and we the people must follow it.

So, what happens at caucus? You meet with your neighbors and decide a few important things. The first thing you and your neighbors will decide is who is in charge of the party members in your precinct. This set of folks is called your precinct committee person(s). There will be two of them elected. Their main purpose is to make sure their neighbors turned in their ballot. That’s an important job to be sure. The next thing you will do is decide what your party’s platform will be. This is where you and your neighbors will decide what your party will fight for. For Republicans it might be that they will back a strong second amendment, and for Democrats it might be that they will back universal health care. It’s up to you and your neighbors to help write the platform, and it all starts at Caucus. This is just one more important reason to go. We all know those in D.C. no matter the party, tend to fight for things that we don’t care about, and ignore those things we do care about. This is where you start to influence those in D.C.

Finally, at the caucus, you will elect delegates to your county assembly. It’s at the county assembly where voters put candidates on the ballot to represent their party. Those who will represent the county for the next four years include; one county commissioner District 1, the county clerk, the county corner, the county treasurer, the county assessor, and the county sheriff.

Also at the county assembly, the delegates to the state assembly will be elected. You can’t move onto State Assembly without being elected to the county assembly at your precinct caucus. At the state assembly, each party will decide who gets on the ballot for the state wide and multiple county races. This year’s list includes; the Governor, the State Treasurer, the State Attorney General, the State Secretary of State, the US House of Representative (District 3), the Regent of University of Colorado (District 3), and State House District 62. After the state assemblies, the ballots will be set, and then, when they are sent out, THAT’S when the unaffiliated voters get to vote in the primary. Once the primary is over, ballots will be set for the general election in November. It all starts with the caucus. You can’t really be involved in the choices for who gets on the ballot, unless you show up to caucus. If you have questions about where you will meet for your caucus, be sure to contact the local party leadership.

If you are a registered Huerfano Democrat, contact Dale Lyons at huerfanodems100@gmail.com.

If you are a registered Huerfano County Republican, contact Debi Sporleder at dscogop@gmail.com. If you have any questions related to caucus that aren’t party specific, feel free to contact me, Marcy Freeburg, at tech@jandmsolutions.com.