Candidates can’t be everywhere. That’s why we have caucuses.

Colorado Senate caucuses will be held on Saturday, March 7, at 2 p.m. You can find the location for your Democratic precinct caucus at the end of this article.

Changes in election law mean that in 2020, Coloradans will be caucusing for Senate candidates and not for candidates for president.

Coloradans will vote for presidential candidates in the Colorado Primary on Tuesday, March 3, as part of Super Tuesday. The presidential primary and the Senate caucus are two separate events.

Caucus is an important first step in deciding which Senate candidates will appear on the Democratic primary ballot in June.

Caucuses are much more interactive than ordinary elections. The grassroots, open-discussion format encourages attendees to talk about the candidates they support. Caucus goers may speak or carry campaign literature for candidates. This can be very helpful for voters who want to know more about the candidates or who are unsure of which candidate shares their views.

This is significantly different from voting in an election, where candidates and their supporters are not allowed to campaign at locations where ballots are collected.

While there are other pathways to the primary ballot (some Senate candidates will use petitions while others will go through the state assembly),  caucus is the only process that allows neighbors to talk about the candidates and about what is important in their community.

The winner of the Democratic Senate primary will go on to face Republican Cory Gardner in November.

The most important issue for Colorado Democrats, aside from taking back the White House, is to remove Cory Gardner from the United States Senate. Cory Gardner, who claims to be bipartisan, has voted with President Trump 89 percent of the time, including voting against hearing witnesses when the President was on trial in the Senate.

In addition to choosing which Senate candidates will be on the primary ballot, caucus goers in Colorado may also advocate for candidates who are running for Congress, for state offices, and in various local races.

Caucus is one of the first steps in selecting delegates for county, congressional, state, or national assemblies, which are the next steps in the candidate selection process.

County parties that choose to do so may adopt resolutions or have other input into the final party platform, including its major planks. Finally, those who participate in caucus may also be included in committees to fill vacancies that occur when elected officials leave office before the end of their term due to health, death, or other reasons.

Democracy requires participation. Caucus is one way to participate.

Democratic Caucus locations for Park County, by ZIP code:

80421 – Deer Creek Elementary School, County Road 43, Bailey.

80475 – Shawnee Community Center, 57 County Road 64, Shawnee.

80449 – Hartsel Community Center, 80 Valley Drive, Hartsel    .

80824 – Guffey Community Charter School, 1459 Main Street, Guffey.

80827 – Lake George Charter School, 38874 U.S. Highway 24, Lake George.

80456 – Jefferson Civic Center Association, Jefferson.

80420 – Alma Town Hall, 59 Buckskin Road, Alma.

80440 – Fairplay Northwest  Fire Station, 21455 U.S. Highway 285, Fairplay.

Park County Democrats www.ParkDems.org.

Politics is not a spectator sport.

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