SOUTHERN COLORADO — Saturday was caucus day in Colorado, a time many political enthusiasts see as a grassroots way to make national changes. Caucuses happen for congressional, state, and county offices, with the senate race as an important topic this year for both parties.
The El Paso County Republicans said they will be supporting Cory Gardner, to help ensure President Trump's agenda continues to be advanced. One of the reasons they said they support that agenda is the economy. "If you live in America, and you don't have a job, it's 'cause you don't want to work, because jobs are out there," said Vickie Tonkins, the chair of the El Paso County Republicans.
However Democrats had five senate candidates caucusing on Saturday. Those included former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Andrew Romanoff, and local Stephany Rose Spaulding. "Those 5 candidates are the ones that are going through this process onto the ballot, all other candidates are going via petition," said Chair of the El Paso County Democrats, Electra Johnson.
Through the caucuses, candidates can earn a spot on the ballot for the June 30 primary. To participate in a caucus, you do have to be a registered member of that political party.
Meanwhile, the primary held on Super Tuesday is for presidential candidates.
Romanoff claimed victory in the democratic senate caucuses, and local numbers from the El Paso County Democrats showed Hickenlooper and Spauling in a close second and third position.
News5 spoke with one participant at the democratic caucus, who said this was her first time at a caucus. Isabel Alvardo said it was basically an informative conversation, but she did see a potential problem with the system. "People have to be able to drive to, and come to, and have off of work, and have a way of transportation to get here, so to me it makes more sense in terms of accessibility to the people to do it as a mail in ballot," said Alvardo.
Ultimately, the caucus gives a sort of snapshot of who and what the two parties are supporting.