First, I must apologize as this article is directed primarily towards Republican voters, although much of the detail applies to Democratic voters as well.
The Park County assessor, sheriff and commissioner races are off to strong starts. There are two candidates running for assessor, five for District 3 commissioner, and six for sheriff, and those are just the Republican candidates that I know about, so far. There have been meet and greet gatherings around the county, Facebook posts, profiles written in The Flume, and various other types of information disseminated, and it may be starting to be overwhelming.
There has been much talk about transparency, change, making a new start, etc., in all of the races. How do you bring change about if you don’t like the way things are run in the county? How do you protect the freedoms that you already have? How do you get involved beyond just voting in the primary on June 26?
There is a lot that happens prior to the primary that you can be involved in, and it all begins on March 6 at the 13 Republican caucuses taking place around the county. The caucus locations have been announced in various publications. If you want to be more involved, and if you want more people to hear your voice, then attend the caucus for your precinct on March 6. Attending a caucus takes one evening of your life every two years – not too steep of a price to pay for having a louder voice.
You may be wondering what happens at a caucus. Republican registered voters in attendance elect the precinct committee people (PCP) who manage the precincts and are part of the Park County Republican Central Committee (PCRCC) that meets the second Wednesday of every month.
The registered Republican voters also elect the delegates and alternates who will attend the county assembly on March 17. Finally, platform resolutions are proposed and voted on and election judges are recommended. Various other business may take place at the caucus, but that’s the bulk of it.
What happens next? The county assembly takes place on March 17 at which the delegates who were elected at the caucuses vote for the candidates who will be designated to the primary ballot on June 26. If you have a particular candidate whom you’re passionately supporting, or a candidate whom you don’t want supported, then go to the caucus and present your case to the voters for being elected a delegate.
Those county candidates receiving 30% of the delegate vote at the county assembly are designated to the primary ballot. Those candidates not receiving 30% but getting at least 10% may petition onto the ballot by obtaining the required number of signatures.
If you want even a louder voice, then as a county assembly delegate, you can run to be elected as one of the 23 delegates who attends the state assembly on April 14.
The other primary business that takes place at the county assembly is the voting on which resolutions submitted by the various caucuses will be forwarded to the state to be voted on at the Republican state assembly.
I personally like the caucus process, as it represents true grass-roots politics. I got involved several years ago because I was frustrated with the politics in Washington. I wanted to do something about that frustration, so I attended a PCRCC committee meeting as a guest, then attended the caucus and was elected as a PCP and have been involved ever since.
If you want change, or even if you just want to protect what you already have, then get involved. Both protecting what you have and fighting for what you want require action. Attending the caucus on March 6 is a good first step.