Big Summit turnout needed to win state races
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — With absentee ballots going out Monday, Summit County Democrats are starting their final run-up to the election Sunday afternoon rally at party headquarters in Silverthorne (Summit Place shopping center, next to the Smiling Moose Deli).
State Rep. Millie Hamner and Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio are both confirmed for the event, and several other local candidates may also speak at the rally.
“We’re hoping to use this as a kick-off for our get out the vote efforts,” said Matt Inzeo, communications director for the Colorado Democratic Party.
Summit County has long been a left-leaning stronghold, but state redistricting has made the county more important for candidates like Emily Tracy, facing conservative Republican Randy Baumgardner in a district that includes rural ranching communities.
In 2008, Obama won 67 percent of the vote in Summit County, even though more than a third of registered voters identify themselves as Independents. A big turnout could help those Democratic candidates farther down the ticket, said local activist Sandy Briggs.
“There’s no question Summit will go for Obama. It’s just a question if he can match that 67 percent he got last time,” Briggs said, adding that there’s a lot at stake for Summit County residents.
A Romney administration would favor more commercial development on the county’s cherished public lands, and could reverse the progress made on increasing production of renewable energy — another issue that’s important to high country residents.