County Democrats host dinner

Colorado secretary of state, lieutenant governor among guests

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For more information about the Routt County Democrats, visit www.routtdems.org

If you go

What: Routt County Democratic Party Jefferson/Jackson Dinner

When: 5:30 p.m. today

Where: Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave.

Cost: $25 for adults, $15 for college students, free for those ages 18 and younger

Other: Take a potluck dish to share

— On the heels of a 2008 election in which Democratic candidates carried Routt County in all but one race, the mood should be jubilant today at the Jefferson/Jackson Dinner, the local party's primary annual fundraiser.

"It's the one time of the year we get together to raise money for the party, talk strategy and - this year in particular - celebrate our victories," local Democratic Party member Judy Tremaine said.

The event begins with a cash bar cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $25 for adults, $15 for students and free for those 18 years old and younger. Attendees are asked to take a potluck dish to share.

The keynote speakers at this year's dinner are Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher and Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien. State Treasurer Cary Kennedy also is expected to attend but is not scheduled to speak. Tremaine said Kennedy saw the event on the Routt County Democratic Party's Web site and decided to attend because she is going to be in the area.

Gov. Ritter appointed Buescher secretary of state after former Secretary of State Mike Coffman won a seat to Congress in November. A Mesa County native, Buescher served two terms in House District 55 and is a former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and former vice chairman of the Joint Budget Committee.

"He's also supposed to be a real dynamic speaker," Routt County Democratic Party Chairwoman Catherine Carson said.

Carson described O'Brien as "a champion for Colorado's children." Before becoming lieutenant governor, O'Brien spent 16 years as president of the Colorado Children's Campaign, a statewide public policy and advocacy nonprofit organization. Her portfolio in the Ritter administration includes education, health and wellness, and aerospace issues.

"We're very excited to have Lt. Gov. O'Brien here," Carson said.

Saturday's dinner also will include a live auction. Items to be auctioned include a hand-woven full-length coat from Lauretta Davidson; an aerial tour of Routt County in Jack Dysart's Cessna; tickets for a Denver Broncos football game along with overnight accommodations and dinner at a Denver restaurant, donated by LuEtta Loeber; and a piece of jewelry designed, created and donated by Cate Potyen.

Tremaine said the event is open to anyone who wants to attend. In the past, she said, about 150 people have attended the dinner.

"This is an opportunity to come together and party after all of the hard work," Tremaine said. "It really is a fun time."

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