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Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield Democrats choose Bernie Sanders

Elise Thatcher

Democrats in the Roaring Fork Valley chose Bernie Sanders last night. Participants in the 2016 caucuses also turned out in record numbers in two counties.

Garfield County Democrats saw the biggest turnout with more than 2000 participants. Next was Pitkin County at 800, more than double compared to the last time Democrats were choosing between two presidential contenders. Eagle County Democrats reported nearly 250 people gathering in Basalt for a handful of precincts, more than three times the number of participants expected.


All three counties chose Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton, mirroring statewide results. Sanders supporters Karen Grey and her daughter Katie Walker were at the Carbondale Middle School caucus. Grey said afterwards that it was exciting to see Sanders win her precinct in Garfield County. “I think that coming up from the grassroots, maybe he has a chance,” she said. Politics is truly a family affair for the two. Walker is now a delegate, and Grey is an alternate.


In Garfield County, Sanders won 734 votes compared to 439 for Clinton. There were20 undecided votes. As of late Tuesday night, a representative of the Garfield County Democrats said delegates were not available yet.


In Pitkin County, Sanders garnered 421 votes to Clinton’s 349. That translated into 28 delegates for Sanders, 23 for Clinton. Eagle County Democrats from four precincts in Basalt met at the high school there. Sanders snagged 153 votes compared to Clinton’s 93. That means Sanders gets 29 delegates and Clinton will have 17 delegates.


In many locations around Colorado, more people turned out to caucus than expected. Insurance agent John Torrez lives in the Denver area, and prefers Clinton over Sanders. “What brought me out was being a part of the process,” he explained. “I think it’s great there’s two outstanding candidates for the Democratic Party.”


Republicans across Colorado also caucused last night, but were not supposed to discuss presidential nominees. The Pitkin County GOP did anyway. Out of about 100 votes, Trump took first place, at 35 percent and Marco Rubio placed second with just under 30 percent.

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