Delegates: a delicate job | ParkRecord.com

Delegates: a delicate job

Sarah Moffitt, The Park Record

State Representative Kraig Powell (R-Heber), calls it "Utah’s real election day." He is referring to the upcoming Democratic and Republican neighborhood caucuses when the delegates who will shape November’s ballot are picked. On the county level, they have the power to knock candidates out of the running, or give them top billing on November’s ballot, before voters even go to the polls.

The Summit County Democrats and Republicans will hold their neighborhood caucuses during the week of March 12. Caucuses will be held in Park City, South Summit and North Summit so that a delegate from each precinct, or neighborhood, is elected by their peers.

Chair of the Summit County Democratic Party Glenn Wright said residents should attend their neighborhood caucus meeting because it is the first step in electing a candidate.

"Those who elect delegates or are elected as a delegate are the first in line for choosing a nominee," he said. "County Delegates and State Delegates are elected from each precinct. Then the County Delegates go on to the County Convention on March 31 and choose the candidates for County Council if it is a contested race in the party. The State Delegates go to the State Convention on April 21 and choose the party candidates for Governor, the State Legislature, Congress, and all state and federal offices."

The caucuses are held every other year and Wright said the last time a Democratic Neighborhood Caucus was held about 200 people attended at all three Summit County locations. This year, he is expecting around 300.

Henry Glasheen, chair of the Summit County Republicans said his party had over 800 Summit County residents show up at the neighborhood caucuses in 2010 and are expecting over 1,000 this year.

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"People should come to the caucuses because our County Council cannot balance the budget and this is the way you get someone else elected," Glasheen said. "This is the locals’ opportunity to determine who is in our state and local offices. This is everyone’s chance to get involved on the most grassroots level possible."

Glasheen said he expects the Republican caucus to be "crazy" because seven people have already declared their candidacy for the three seats on the Summit County Council.

Any Summit County resident that does not plan on voting for a Republican candidate can attend the Democrat neighborhood caucus. Residents must be registered Republicans to attend the Republican neighborhood caucus.

The Democratic Party’s neighborhood caucuses will take place on Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. Residents are recommended to show up at least a half an hour early. Residents living in the Park City School District will meet at Park City High School. Residents in the North Summit School District will meet at the North Summit Middle School. Residents living in the South Summit School District will meet at the South Summit High School.

The Republican Summit County neighborhood caucuses will take place on Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. Residents are recommended to show up at least half an hour early. Residents living in the Park City School District will meet at Park City High School. Residents living in the South Summit School District will meet at the South Summit Middle School and residents living in the North Summit School District will meet at the North Summit High School.

Any resident can be elected as a local or state delegate. Those who cannot make the convention but wish to be nominated as a delegate must submit their name in writing prior to the caucus. For more information contact Glenn Wright at (435) 640-9284 or Henry Glasheen at (435) 513-0440.

The filing window for the 2012 General Election is March 9 through March 15 at 5 p.m. Open positions that will appear on the ballot in Summit County include: three Summit County Council seats, three School Board seats in each district, the Summit County Justice Court position, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Senate Seat 19, House Seat 53, House Seat 54, House Seat 28, State Treasurer, Auditor and Attorney General.