Strong turnout at Democratic county assembly

Attendees seized the opportunity to get involved

Posted 3/26/18

It was exciting, confusing, a good way to meet likeminded people, residents said of the Douglas County Democratic assembly. “I like the ability to meet people — this is a great community …

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Strong turnout at Democratic county assembly

Attendees seized the opportunity to get involved

Posted

It was exciting, confusing, a good way to meet likeminded people, residents said of the Douglas County Democratic assembly.

“I like the ability to meet people — this is a great community opportunity to meet people,” said Christina Manthey, a delegate from Highlands Ranch. “It's a place to meet people that care.”

On March 24, Manthey and about 250 county Democrats assembled in the gymnasium of Chaparral High School in Parker for hours of listening, conversing and voting. At county assemblies — 24 were held across the state that day — delegates select candidates for the primary election in June and delegates to send to congressional district and state assemblies in early April.

The event is one step closer to the June primary election and November general election, when voters will elect local officials, such as sheriff and county commissioner, legislators and candidates to serve in statewide seats, such as governor.

At the county assembly, each candidate, or a surrogate on behalf of a candidate, took the stage to voice his or her stance on popular issues such as education, healthcare and gun reform. The speeches were impassioned, causing the seated crowd to periodically break out in cheer and applause.

Dozens of people wore shirts with “March for Our Lives” in support of a worldwide, student-led protest for Congress to take action on gun violence following the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead. A Denver march took place the same day.

State Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, who is running for attorney general, started his speech by commending the movement.

“I'm proud to be here on a day when our younger generation is fighting against gun violence,” Salazar said.

Reasons for getting involved in the county assembly varied. Delegate Chris Krimbell, of Highlands Ranch, voiced her support for gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy, the former state treasurer. Krimbell supports Kennedy's views on women's rights, education and healthcare, she said.

“It's exciting,” Krimbell said of the county assembly. “For me right now, it's very confusing, but the people who are actively involved seem to understand.”

Brett Siebert, 16, was volunteering at the event to get a feel for the process, which he called confusing and questioned the accuracy of. He said he plans on volunteering at a Republican county assembly to see both sides.

The current political climate has Siebert thinking ahead.

“I feel like I have to be involved,” the junior at Castle View High School said. “Because right now, the country really needs some educated politicians.”

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