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Strong participation reported at caucuses

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Representatives of the Delta County Republican and Democratic parties say they are pleased with the level of participation in the county caucuses held March 6.

Roger Bentley, chairman of the Delta County Republican Party, said about 150 party members gathered in two locations. Bentley chaired the caucus at Delta High School, and party secretary Betty Oglesby chaired the gathering at Hotchkiss High School.

In a new format, caucuses opened with a joint session that included introductions and a video presentation put together by county treasurer Lisa Tafoya. The video featured unedited comments from all the candidates who responded to the party's invitation.

The precincts then met separately and got down to the task at hand, selecting delegates for upcoming assemblies. No straw polls were taken.

"Overall I think the two joint meetings went well, but we did have some suggestions that we should also have a meeting in the Cedaredge area, to allow for more grassroots involvement," Bentley said.

Democrat Dea Jacobson reports 153 Democrats attended the caucuses. A straw poll for governor's race was used to apportion delegates to the county convention. Cary Kennedy received 73 votes, or 47.7 percent and 59 votes, or 38.6 percent, went to Jared Polis. Twelve votes were uncommitted, and Mike Johnson received nine votes.

"Interestingly, Precinct 17 in Crawford polled for Polis at 83 percent and Kennedy at 17 percent," Jacobson noted. "My precinct (13), north of Cedaredge was 40 percent Kennedy and 60 percent uncommitted.

No poll was required for the 3rd Congressional District race between Hanlon and Busch. Delegates for that race will be determined at the county conventions.

"The caucus/convention system we have in Colorado provides an opportunity for good, old-fashioned grassroots political activity in our communities," Jacobson noted.

The Delta County Democratic Party County Assembly is also Saturday, March 24. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and the assembly starts at 10 a.m. at Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss.

Additional information can be found at www.deltadems.org.

The Delta County Republican Assembly will convene at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at the Delta Performing Arts Center. Delegate check-in runs from 8 a.m. at 9:45 a.m. Alternate designations will be selected for delegates not present at 9:45 a.m.

For more information, visit www.deltagop.com.

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