Caucuses see light turnout

County assemblies slated for later this month

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This year's election season officially kicked off with more of a whimper than a bang.

Republicans and Democrats gathered at more than two dozen locations in the county on the evening of March 3 for caucuses in each of the Elbert's 15 precincts.

Scott Wills, the county's Republican Party chair, characterized this year's Republican caucuses as “pretty low key.”

“Turnout was light,” Wills said, “which is about what we expected because, at least so far, none of the Republican races this year (at the county level) are being contested.”

Wills estimated “around 300” county Republicans participated in the March 3 caucuses — “about 20 people per precinct,” he said.

As of Jan. 1, there were about 9,776 registered Republicans in Elbert County, which comprises 53.9 percent of all registered voters.

“Our goal is to get that number back above 10,000,” Wills said, explaining that prior to the 2012 election, there were 10,126 registered Republicans in the county.

County Republicans will gather next on March 29 at their county assembly, which will be held at the Elbert County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall beginning at 10 a.m.

Democrats around the county also caucused on March 3.

A message from County Democratic Chair Jill Duvall, posted on the party's website following the caucuses, stated: “We intend to continue to hold majorities in both state houses, re-elect Mark Udall and John Hickenlooper (in spite of his frustrating energy policies), and support Vic Meyers in CD4. All of these folks need your support as we continue to turn Colorado into a blue state!”

County Democrats will hold their county assembly at 1 p.m. March 15 at the Elizabeth Library.

Democrats are outnumbered by Republicans nearly four-to-one in Elbert County, and Republicans currently occupy every elected position in the county, including the three county commissioner seats.

There are currently 2,484 registered Democrats in the county, which represents 13.7 percent of all registered voters.

The number of unaffiliated voters as of January 1 stood at 5,666 — or a little more than 31 percent of registered voters.