Summit County Democrats vote for local and state candidates, choose 28 delegates to participate in democratic process |

Summit County Democrats vote for local and state candidates, choose 28 delegates to participate in democratic process

The candidates that received at least 30% of the delegate vote are going on to the June 28 primary ballot

Community members gather for the Summit County Democratic Caucus and Assembly at Summit High School on Saturday, March 5. During the event, Summit County Democrats selected 28 delegates to represent them at other assemblies later this year.
Jenna deJong/Summit Daily News

Summit County Democrats gathered at Summit High School on March 5 so delegates could then vote for both state and local leaders vying for a spot on the June 28 nonpresidential primary ballot. A portion of these chosen delegates will also represent the group at some of the state’s other assemblies in April.

Like the Summit County Colorado Republicans caucus and assembly, both the precinct and county caucus happened subsequently, followed by the assembly where local candidates were nominated and voted for by credentialed delegates. These initial steps kicked off the democratic process as the candidates that received at least 30% of the delegates’ votes will move on to the June primary and then possibly the November general election ballot.

Patti McLaughlin, chair of the Summit County Democrats, said the turnout of the day’s events were much more positive than in 2020. McLaughlin said there were about 138 community members in attendance on Saturday.

“It was much more than the last one we had two years ago,” McLaughlin said. “We had a higher number of (people) and a lot of support for individual candidates which was great.”

At the event, the following individuals were hoping for enough votes to move on to the primary, which is when one candidate from the Democratic party will be chosen for the November ballot. All of these individuals received enough votes to move on to the primary ballot, except for

  • Jaime FitzSimons, incumbent sheriff
  • Elisabeth Lawrence, incumbent commissioner for District 1
  • Stacey Nell, running for clerk and recorder
  • Richard Ferris, running for surveyor
  • Frank Celico, incumbent assessor
  • Lisa Eurich, running for assessor
  • Ryne Scholl, incumbent treasurer
  • Kathy Neel, current Summit County clerk and recorder running for treasurer
  • Amber Flenniken, former deputy coroner running for coroner

Regan Wood, incumbent county coroner, did not receive enough votes to move on to the primary. She got nearly 27% of votes.

In addition to nominating and voting for these candidates, the Democratic party also chose 28 delegates to represent its organization at the Senate District 8 assembly, the House District 13 assembly, the Congressional District 2 assembly as well at the state assembly which elects candidates like the governor, attorney general and the secretary of state. All of these assemblies happen over the course of April 6-9 and will occur virtually.

Both District 61 State Rep. Julie McCluskie and District 26 State Rep. Dylan Roberts spoke at the Democratic caucus. With the new redistricting, McCluskie is running for the seat of the newly formed House District 13, which includes Summit County, as well as Park, Lake, Chaffee, Grand and Jackson counties.

During her speech, McCluskie spoke about her work as it relates to affordable housing, bringing down the cost of health care, accessible child care and more.

“Being from Summit County and having the privilege of representing all of you has been the best job I’ve ever had, and I hope to continue for another two years fighting to make sure that we’re saving all of you money, that we get every student on a path to lifelong success and most importantly, taking action on our climate crisis, protecting our public lands and water and ensuring that all of us have a bright and beautiful future in Colorado,” she said.

District 26 State Rep. Dylan Roberts also spoke at the caucus. He’s running for Senate District 8 which includes Summit County, as well as Eagle, Grand, Jackson, Routt, Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties. Roberts stressed that the seat he was seeking was part of a contentious race.

“This is going to be an incredibly competitive election,” he said. “This state senate seat is the seat that will decide the senate majority this year and so everything that the governor wants to do or everything that (State Rep.) Julie (McCluskie) wants to do in the state House could stop if we don’t hold on to the state Senate.”

Delegates also used a preferential poll to choose which Democratic U.S. senator candidate they wanted to support, and that was incumbent Michael Bennett. This means Bennett got all 28 delegate votes.

Those seeking to get on the primary ballot by petitioning should know that the number of required signatures of registered Democrats varies based on the office being sought. The last day to submit a petition is March 15.

If a candidate uses the assembly process and fails to obtain 30% of the vote, such as Regan Wood, they can revert to the petition process as along as they receive at least 10% of the vote of delegates at the assembly.

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