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Colorado Democrats wrap up unresolved vice chair race by naming three winners

Author: Ernest Luning - May 12, 2017 - Updated: May 12, 2017

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Colorado Democratic Party 2nd Vice Chair Pat Shaver, center, and the party's two deputy 2nd vice chairs, Miguel Adrian Ceballos, left, and Mannie Rodriguez, right. (Ceballos photos via Facebook, Shaver and Rodriguez by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)
Colorado Democratic Party 2nd Vice Chair Pat Shaver, center, and the party’s two deputy 2nd vice chairs, Miguel Adrian Ceballos, left, and Mannie Rodriguez, right. (Ceballos photo via Facebook; Shaver and Rodriguez photos by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

Nearly two months after party elections, Colorado Democrats this week finally have a full contingent of state officers after members of the central committee overwhelmingly approved a plan to fill the 2nd vice chair position with the top three finalists.

The position had gone unfilled since the March 11 reorganization meeting, when none of the candidates won a majority of the vote after three rounds of balloting.

According to a plan approved in an election conducted by mail — the vote was 219 in favor and 30 opposed, with two spoiled ballots, party officials said — the nominee who had the most votes, former Arapahoe County Democratic Party Chair Pat Shaver, is the party’s 2nd vice chair, and state chair Morgan Carroll was authorized to appoint the two remaining candidates — former Democratic National Committeeman Mannie Rodriguez and former Bernie Sanders campaign staffer Miguel Ceballos— as co-deputy 2nd vice chairs.

Like the other state party offices, the Democrats’ 2nd vice chair serves for a two-year term.

The three candidates agreed the outcome was preferable to convening another central committee meeting for additional rounds of voting.

The election for 2nd vice chair, an office generally responsible for outreach to various Democratic Party constituencies, was one of two left unresolved when the Democrats adjourned the party’s reorganization meeting, held at a downtown Denver hotel. The other, for 1st vice chair, appeared to be tied after the initial vote, but two days later party officials determined that a ballot had been cast by an ineligible voter, tipping the election to David Sabados, a Denver-based political consultant and president of the Colorado Young Democrats, by a single vote. The other candidate for that post, which comes with a seat on the Democratic National Committee, was Larimer County organizer and former union leader Gil Barela.

Shaver led the count for the 2nd vice chair race through three rounds of voting — former Otero County Democratic Party Chair Terrance Hestand was in the mix but dropped out after the first two rounds — but didn’t achieve a majority of the vote. (State party rules don’t require candidates to drop out for subsequent rounds of voting.)

Carroll, a former state Senate president and congressional candidate, won the race for chair in a landslide; incumbent secretary Martelle Daniels won a second term by acclamation without opposition; and Rita Simas prevailed over Kathleen Ricker for treasurer.

— ernest@coloradostatesman.com

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.


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