Parties throwing parties

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Election 2006

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Democrats to the Steamboat Smokehouse, Republicans to the Old Town Pub.

Groups representing Routt County's two major political parties will be separated by a few blocks on Lincoln Avenue on Tuesday, as party officials have designated locations for candidates and onlookers to watch election results and celebrate with a pint, or cry over spilled beer. With just four days remaining before that night, both parties have scheduled upcoming events to rally supporters and boost attendance at the polls.

On Friday, the county Republican party hosts a "GOP Final Four Kick-Off Party" at the Old Town Pub. The event will jumpstart the final days leading up to the election.

"It's a fun, casual event with local candidates," said Jennifer Schubert-Akin, chairwoman of the Routt County Republican Central Committee.

Saturday morning, the county Democratic party will host a rally on the Routt County Courthouse lawn, featuring gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter, U.S. Rep. John Salazar and U.S. Rep. Mark Udall.

Ritter is a former Denver District Attorney who is running against Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez of Arvada. Salazar is a Manassa Democrat running for re-election to Congress against Republican businessman Scott Tipton of Cortez and Hotchkiss Libertarian Bert Sargent. Udall is a Boulder Democrat and four-term Congressman in Colorado's Second Congressional District, which includes the Boulder area on the Front Range. Udall is running for re-election against Evergreen schoolteacher Rich Mancuso, a Republican.

The three candidates will arrive at Saturday's rally at about 11:30 a.m. The event will begin at 11 a.m. with speeches from local candidates, said Lynn Abbott, secretary of the Routt County Democratic Party.

Abbott said the rally can legally be held on the courthouse lawn because the polls will be closed Saturday.

Friday is the last day of early voting.

Registered voters can cast a ballot at the Routt County Courthouse Annex, 136 Sixth St., in downtown Steamboat Springs. Polls are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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