BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
After the March 3 presidential primary is in the books, Coloradans who actively participate in grass-roots party politics will get down to the important business of lining up candidates for all the other elective offices on the ballot this Nov. 3.
On March 7, any Coloradan who is a registered Democrat or a Republican will have the opportunity to gather with fellow party members at 3,133 individual neighborhood precinct caucuses to begin the process that will lead to the choosing of candidates for United States Senator (only the Democrats; Republicans are sticking with incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner), United States House of Representatives, state legislature, district attorney, state board of education, and University of Colorado Board of Regents, along with national party representatives. Participants will also consider questions about party platforms for the national conventions to be held this summer. 17-year-olds who will be 18 before Nov. 3 may participate in caucuses as long as they’ve already registered to vote.
Voters can get information on what precinct they live in and where their Democratic or Republican caucus meetings are being held on their party’s website. Republicans should go to caucuses.cologop.org. Democrats can find out what they need to know at coloradodems.org. Unaffiliated voters cannot participate.
At the March 7 caucuses, those voters who show up will choose precinct leaders and delegates to the county and district assemblies. The county assemblies will elect county candidates for the June 30 primary election and delegates to the state assembly and the congressional district assembly. District assemblies will do the heavy lifting, identifying primary candidates for the legislature, the Congress, the CU board of regents, state board of education and district attorney. Delegates to the national party conventions are also designated there and formally elected at the state assembly, which is reserved for statewide offices and national questions. The only statewide office on the 2020 ballot in Colorado is U.S. Senator and only one party, the Democrats, has a competitive race for that seat.
After county and district assemblies have done their work, the parties will hold their state assemblies on April 18. Republicans will gather at the FirstBank Center in Broomfield. Democrats will hold their state convention at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver.
A spot on the June 30 primary ballot can be won by obtaining at least 30 percent of the support of state assembly delegates or gathering the required number of voter signatures on petitions circulated. The number required and where they come from depends upon the office being sought.
Next on the agenda will be the national conventions. Democrats, who seem like they will have the more interesting gathering at this point, will meet from July 13-16 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI. Republicans will assemble to nominate President Trump and Vice-President Pence for a second term on August 24-27 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC.
The long list of Democrats who are seeking a spot on the Democratic primary ballot for United States Senate are former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, former Governor John Hickenlooper, non-profit leader Lorena Garcia, scientist Trish Zornio, CU Colorado Springs professor of women’s and ethnic studies Stephanie Rose Spaulding, environmental activist and psychologist Diana Bray, Open Door Ministries founder Michelle Ferrigno Warren, and DU professor and homeland security consultant David Goldfischer. Two others, Critter Melton and Erik Underwood, have also announced their intentions to run. Only Romanoff and Hickenlooper have held previous elective offices.
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