By Jennifer Turner
In February of each odd-numbered year, the Democratic Party of Denver undergoes a reorganization. Almost all elected positions are up for election/re-election to a two-year term. This will occur on Saturday, Feb. 11 at South High School. Registration is 12:00-1:00p.m. and the meeting will take place 1:00-4:30p.m.
Available positions include the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, the officers of each House sub-district (Captain, Co-Captain and Finance Chair), and the officers of each House District and Senate District (Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary). At the meeting, members will also be elected or appointed to a variety of County-wide committees, as well as the State Executive and State Central committees. All positions are volunteer. The only spots not up for election are the Precinct Committee Persons (PCPs), which are elected at caucus.
Interested individuals don’t need to be a PCP or other member of the County Central Committee to run for these positions, but do need to be a registered Democrat in the relevant district or sub-district.
The reorganization is not unique to Denver. The same process is taking place in every Democratic county party across Colorado right now. The rules in each county are similar, with a few differences.
When asked to reflect on the November election, Outgoing County Chair Anne Murdaugh said, "We are proud to have helped Colorado go blue for Hillary, proud to have helped elect Beth McCann, Denver's first female District Attorney, and proud to have helped return Senator Bennet and Congresswoman DeGette to D.C., to have elected eight Democratic State Representatives and two Democratic State Senators from Denver County, and to have helped pass the state minimum wage and key ballot initiatives in Denver. We are deeply dismayed by the prospect of a Trump presidency. We will be fighting to protect our democracy, our environment, and the rights of individuals who are threatened by the Trump administration, and working hard to elect Democratic candidates who support our progressive platform."
The currently announced candidates for Chair are Jo-Ann Fujioka and Mike Cerbo, Sr. James Reyes is running for Vice Chair, Russ Johnson for Secretary and Ken Hermann for Treasurer.
Murdaugh described the responsibilities of the County Chair as essentially being the CEO of the Democratic Party of Denver. A major responsibility of the Chair is fundraising. The Democratic Party of Denver receives no money from the state or Democratic National Committee. This year Murdaugh estimates the chair will need to raise approximately $64,000. The amount is much higher in a presidential election year.
The Chair also recruits candidates to run for office. Murdaugh said, “In Denver County, we are blessed with many great candidates. The true race in Denver County is often at the primary level.”
Newly elected District 6 Representative Chris Hansen is an example of the advantage Democrats hold in Denver County. He defeated Jeff Hart in the June primary and ran uncontested in the November election.
For more information on the February 11 Re-Org or Democratic Party of Denver, visit denverdemocrats.org.