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Unity Party sets inaugural state convention as Colorado’s newest official minor party

Author: Ernest Luning - June 15, 2017 - Updated: June 16, 2017

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Unity Party founder Bill Hammons (Photo courtesy Hammons via Facebook)
Unity Party founder Bill Hammons (Photo courtesy Hammons via Facebook)

Now that the Unity Party has been elevated to minor party status in Colorado, its organizers say it’s time for a state convention to adopt bylaws, elect officers and approve a platform. And nachos.

Anyone affiliated with the party — there were 1,002 as of last Monday, the secretary of state’s office said — can attend the confab on Saturday, July 15, at a Westminster restaurant.

After passing 1,000 members on state voter registration rolls last week, the Unity Party became Colorado’s fourth officially designated minor party, joining the Libertarians, the Greens and the American Constitution Party. It will retain the status for at least the next two general elections, in 2018 and 2020, election officials said.

The Democrats and Republicans are the state’s major parties, a status achieved by their gubernatorial nominees receiving at least 10 percent of the vote in the last gubernatorial election. (Fun fact: the Republicans came very close to losing major party status in 2010, when gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes barely squeaked past the threshold with 10.98 percent of the vote, according to official state results.)

The self-described centrist party — its platform supports a federal balanced budget amendment, term limits on federal judges and lawmakers and a strict ban on gerrymandering — has been around since the day after the 2004 election, when current state party chair Bill Hammons and some friends, family and fellow alumni of Wesley Clark’s failed Democratic presidential campaign came together to found it.

Hammons, who lives in Thornton and sells life insurance, wears a lot of hats in the Unity Party. In addition to being its founder and chair of the Colorado party, he’s also the national chair — the party has members in 37 states — and is a Unity Party candidate for governor in next year’s election. He was also the Unity nominee for the U.S. Senate two times and twice ran for Congress on the ticket in Colorado’s 2nd District.

While Hammons has had to petition his way on to the ballot for his previous runs, the fresh minor party designation means the party will be able to nominate candidates straight to the ballot “with a show of hands” at its next state assembly, set for March 2018.

The party is encouraging members to announce their candidacies for office at the July convention. Hammons told Colorado Politics that potential candidates will have to be registered with the Unity Party by Jan. 1, 2018, to qualify for nomination at next spring’s assembly.

Next month’s convention to conduct party business — and enjoy complimentary nachos — is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. on July 15 at Chuy’s, a Tex-Mex restaurant at 6595 W. 104th Ave. in Westminster.

— Ernest.Luning@coloradopolitics.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. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.


2 comments

  • Tannim

    June 16, 2017 at 8:25 am

    This so-called convention for the cult of Bill Hammons will turn out to be a joke, just like their platform and members.

  • Michelle

    June 16, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    If Unity is the party’s real name, and they want to stick with that, then they need to take a look at the Unity Baseball game in DC.
    Did Hillary make up this name? Its simplistic word value will only repel most realistic people.
    I heard the CoExist stickers were recalled because they didn’t work.
    Maybe this bunch needs to go back to the drawing board and look at the reality of what coexisting has cost Europe and what Unity really means. To Muslims it means killing anyone who is not completely invested in Allah and killing the infidel.
    Lots of meaning for unity, right?
    Sacrifice is a double-edged sword.

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