Hot Sheet

In video, GOP state treasurer candidate Kevin Lundberg says caucusing can change the world

Author: Ernest Luning - February 4, 2018 - Updated: February 4, 2018

State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, a candidate for Colorado state treasurer, talks about the importance of attending precinct caucuses in a 22-minute campaign video that features historians, lawmakers and students. (Via YouTube)

Colorado’s precinct caucuses are just over a month away, and Republican Kevin Lundberg, a veteran state lawmaker and one of six GOP candidates for state treasurer, is urging voters to attend the neighborhood meetings in a lengthy campaign video that features historians, state and party officials and students.

“The Colorado caucus is a beautiful thing,” says Boulder County GOP chair Peg Cage, who appears several times during the 22-minute video. “It’s a reflection of the way a republic is supposed to be run. It’s you choosing your representatives or becoming a representative.”

This year, Democrats and Republicans meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, in some 2,000 precincts across the state to kick off the election year’s political calendar at the biennial ritual some call archaic and outdated but others say embodies the last, best hope for citizens to steer their fate from the grassroots on up.

Lundberg clearly falls in the latter category, extolling the virtues of caucuses while encouraging Coloradans affiliated with a major party — and his Republican supporters in particular — to plan on attending caucuses this year.

His video is aimed at a conservative audience, although it makes a case across the political spectrum for caucusing.

“In today’s rough-and-tumble world of politics, is there anything we can do that matters? Can we change this world?” asks Lundberg, a video producer when he isn’t making laws or running for statewide office.

“It seems unimaginable that schools wrestle with who can walk into which bathroom. Bakers, flower shops and photographers are told by the state they must run their businesses. Ever-higher taxes and fees — and the fees are really more taxes — threaten to crush the dreams of too many Colorado families. In some ways, our culture is upside-down. What can be done? A lot can be done. You can change your world — you can change our world. But you have to know where you start.”

In Colorado, that means attending a precinct caucus, Lundberg says, recalling that he went to his first in 1972.

It was soon after that when former former Senate President John Andrews recalls he moved to Colorado “demoralized and discouraged” about politics in the wake of Watergate, after serving on President Nixon’s White House staff. Friends encouraged him to get involved in his local precinct caucus — something that didn’t exist in Andrews’ home state of Missouri — and it reawakened his interest in civic life.

Colorado is one of 13 states that uses precinct caucuses to select delegates that ultimately nominate major-party candidates to the primary ballot, although candidates can also qualify for the primary by petitioning onto the ballot. (Two of the Republican state treasurer candidates, state Rep. Polly Lawrence and real estate CEO Brian Watson, are petitioning onto the ballot, while Lundberg and the other three, state Rep. Justin Everett, Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn and prosecutor Brett Barkey, are going through caucus and assembly.)

The controversial evangelical Christian author David Barton — who endorses Lundberg in another video — argues in the caucus video that the precinct meetings are an important way to affect politics locally at a time when national and international news can seem overwhelming.

At their caucuses, registered Republicans or Democrats elect precinct committee members and delegates to higher assemblies, including county, congressional district and state assemblies.

This year, county assemblies fill the calendar though March, and both parties’ state assemblies are scheduled for Saturday, April 14 — the Republicans’ in Boulder and the Democrats’ in Broomfield.

“When you get to the ballot in November, you typically have only two real choices left,” says Laura Stephens, in the video. “In order to make the biggest impact on who your elected officials will be, you have to start at the very beginning.”

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.