Democrats to meet Saturday

Last-minute candidacy announcements not likely

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Routt County Republicans may have been a little surprised last week to learn about the last-minute announcement of a Routt County sheriff candidate during their county assembly.

Routt County Democratic Party secretary Lynn Abbott doesn't expect any similar surprises when members of her party convene Saturday for the Democratic County Assembly.

"I think this is it," Abbot said Tuesday about the Democrats' slate of candidates. "If anyone were interested in running for a position, I think they would have talked to the (Democratic) party already. You never really know, though. It would be perfectly legal for someone to announce a candidacy Saturday."

Saturday's assembly begins at 1 p.m. at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Abbott said the assembly will include official nominations for candidates, candidate speeches, the election of delegates for the state assembly in May and discussion of about 40 resolutions that have been written since March's precinct caucuses.

The Democratic Party most likely will not have a primary election in August because none of the races is contested, Abbott said.

Declared Democratic candidates are Grand County resident Andy Gold, who is running for Colorado House District 57; Diane Mitsch Bush for county commissioner; Gary Wall for sheriff; and Mike Kerrigan for county assessor. No Democrats are running for Routt County clerk and recorder, coroner or treasurer.

During Saturday's assembly, the party's 130 delegates and alternate delegates will have an opportunity to vote on resolutions and participate in debates. Although the public is welcome to attend, only delegates and alternate delegates will be allowed to vote for candidates and resolutions. Members of the public are welcome to participate in the debates about the resolutions, which will cover a variety of topics such as health issues, local building issues and U.S. and international issues.

"I encourage people to come," Abbott said. "Even though they can't vote, these would be valuable discussions to take part in. The neat thing is that this is grassroots politics. This is where it all starts."

Routt County Democratic Party Chairman Ken Brenner agreed that members of the public should attend Saturday's assembly, particularly if they want to be involved in the state assembly May 19 and 20 in Greeley.

Brenner said Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland will attend the assembly to demonstrate how the county's new voting system will work.

Abbott said a visit from Gold, a resident of Tabernash and chairman of the Grand County Dem--ocrats, might be a highlight of the assembly.

Gold will face state Rep. Al White, R-Winter Park, in November's election.

"I think he'll be fun to listen to," Abbott said.

Also expected to attend are representatives from gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter's campaign.

What: Routt County Democratic Party County Assembly

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1255 Lincoln Ave.

Call: Lynn Abbott, Routt County Democratic Party secretary, at 870-6673

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