Colorado Young Democrats celebrate the holidays in old-fashioned style

‘The reason that Obama won Colorado and Democrats did so well is because young people came out to vote.’
The Colorado Statesman

Young Democrats from around the state gathered under the viaduct on Dec. 19 to celebrate the holidays, collect donations for the needy and honor volunteers and elected officials.

Democratic House District 1 candidate Corrie Houck, right, declared earlier this month that she’s mounting a primary challenge against three-term state Rep. Jeanne Labuda, D-Denver. Next to her is her campaign manager, Denver Young Democrats fundraiser Jason Krueger.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman

Despite a fast-moving afternoon snowstorm that left roads slick and the air chilly, more than 200 revelers made their way to Mile High Station, just west of downtown Denver on the surface streets under Colfax, for a star-studded evening of holiday cheer. Among the event’s hosts were U.S. Sen. Mark Udall — another host, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, was stuck in Washington — and dozens of state lawmakers, county and municipal leaders, party officials and a number of recently announced candidates.

State Rep. David Young, D-Greeley, and his wife, Dr. Mary Young, celebrate the holidays at the Young Dems party.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman

Jefferson County Democratic Party chairman Chris Kennedy was named Young Democrat of the Year. House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, got the Young Elected of the Year honors. And ubiquitous campaign worker Andrew Byars — demonstrating that GOP-heavy Douglas County boasts at least one Democrat — was awarded Young Volunteer of the Year.

Denver Public Schools at-large board member Happy Haynes, state Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, and state Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver, talk politics at the holiday party thrown by a consortium of Young Democrats organizations on Dec. 19 at Mile High Station in Denver.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman

Noting that he still has two years left as a young Dem — until he turns 36 — Ferrandino said Young Democrats across the state have an important role to play next year. Recalling the very Blue year of 2008, Ferrandino said, “The reason that Obama won Colorado and Democrats did so well is because young people came out to vote, so the work you do to make young people get out to vote is so important in this next election.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, in front of the television set, poses for a picture along with Young Democrats from up and down the Front Range at a holiday party on Dec. 19 in Denver.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman

The party was sponsored by the statewide Young Democrats and groups from Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Jefferson and Weld counties. Organizers collected donations for the Colfax Community Network.

Ernest@coloradostatesman.com

State Reps. Angela Williams, D-Denver, Max Tyler, D-Golden, and Sue Schafer, D-Wheat Ridge, celebrate the holidays at a Young Democrats party on Dec. 19 in Denver.
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Former CU Regent Monisha Merchant and state Reps. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, and Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, enjoy the Young Democrats’ holiday party on Dec. 19 in Denver. Earlier that day, Kerr announced he’s running for the Senate District 22 seat in Lakewood after reapportionment maps grouped him in the same district as two other House members, Max Tyler, D-Golden, and Ken Summers, R-Lakewood.
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Colorado Democratic Party executive director Alec Garnett and HD 27 candidate Timothy Allport agree the new year is going to be filled with opportunities for Democrats.
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Denver City Council member Albus Brooks and Council President Chris Nevitt make merry at a Young Dems holiday party on Dec. 19 at Mile High Station (in City Councilwoman Judy Montero’s district). Party-goers donated food, clothing and gift cards to the Colfax Community Network.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman
Left, Jefferson County Democratic Party treasurer Liz Geisleman, Jeffco Dem chairman Chris Kennedy and organizer Andy Kabza get in the holiday spirit at the Young Dems’ party. Kennedy was named Young Democrat of the Year at the event.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman
Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio and state House candidate Tracy Kraft-Tharp spread holiday cheer at the party. Kraft-Tharp declared this fall that she’s running for HD 29, expecting to run against first-term Rep. Robert Ramirez, R-Westminster, but late last week Ramirez announced he is making a bid to move to the upper chamber, challenging state Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster.
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Democratic National Committee member Anthony Graves, left, doesn’t let the holiday party get in the way of the important point he’s making with state Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, at the Young Democrats’ bash on Dec. 19 in Denver.
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Denver Democratic Party treasurer Ed Hall, House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino and Colorado Young Democrats president Gena Ozols share the spirit at the Young Dems’ holiday party on Dec. 19 at Mile High Station in Denver. Ferrandino was named Young Elected of the Year earlier in the evening.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman
State Rep. Roger Wilson, D-Glenwood Springs, visits with John Bristol, director of Grants and Special Projects for U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, at the Young Dems' holiday party on Dec. 19 in Denver. Earlier that day Wilson announced he wouldn't be seeking another term after the reapportionment process left his district heavily weighted toward Republican voters.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman
Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, joins former state Rep. Joe Rice, D-Littleton, and Jefferson County Young Democrats president Jelena Woehr at a Young Dems holiday party on Dec. 19 in Denver.
Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman