Silverthorne: Dems stump for Obama, ‘down-ballot candidates’
Ryan Summerlin October 14, 2012
SILVERTHORNE – President Barack Obama may be the Democrats’ headliner in the Nov. 6 party at the ballot box, but they don’t want voters forgetting about his opening acts.
The chair of the Democratic Party in Colorado and a number of state and local Dems gathered at the Obama field office in Silverthorne Sunday to urge their left-leaning compatriots not only to vote, but to start at the bottom of the ballot and work their way up.
“Obviously the president is our top priority,” Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio said. “But we need to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to make sure we have the candidates we need to support the president, our members of Congress, our Legislature (and) our county commissions.”
The Democrats are fighting to hold on to a slim majority in the state Senate this year and looking to win back the state House of Representatives, which they lost to the GOP in 2010 by one seat.
House District 61 hopeful Millie Hamner, who attended the rally along with Democratic Senate District 8 candidate Emily Tracy, said being in the minority in her first term kept her sharp, but that she’d like to try a stint in the majority.
“There were some critical decisions that were not able to be made,” Hamner said. “It did cause me to work harder and smarter and better, so it’s been a good learning experience. But I’d rather not continue in the minority.”
The rally Sunday afternoon was the last of nine stops for the state’s top Dems in a final-days election tour across rural Colorado.
It’s the third time in two weeks high-level Democrats have been in Summit County.
Obama’s RV brought U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet to Frisco for a voter-registration push in early October. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper was in town a week later for a public talk on forest health and wildfire mitigation and a fundraising event for Hamner.
But the local GOP says they’re still hard at work in their camp too.
“We’ve been busy as well,” Summit Republicans chair Mark Hurlbert said. “We’ve been manning the phones and walking the neighborhoods. I think things are going well.”
Republicans continue to hold a strong footing in Colorado, as both candidates keep up the fight for a key swing state.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney made a late surge in Colorado, passing the president by one percentage point in a new Denver Post poll following the Oct. 3 debate at the University of Denver.
The poll has a margin of error of 4 percent, putting the candidates in a dead heat for Colorado.
The Denver Post contributed to the reporting of this story.