Colorado’s newest political party focused on appealing to voters in … – Denver 7 Colorado News

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Colorado has a new political party.

The Elections Division of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office officially designated the Colorado Center Party as the state’s seventh minor political party.

In a press release, the office said the Colorado Center Party had “attained a sufficient number of registered voters to be recognized as a minor political party in Colorado.”

As its name suggests, the new party is focused on attracting Colorado voters in the political center.

Like a growing number of Americans, Steve Yurash, who lives in Ft. Collins, is fed up with the partisan divide gripping the country.

“The Democrats are too far left. The Republicans are too far right. Nobody’s representing the majority in the middle,” said Yurash.

So, after retiring a few years ago, Yurash went to work on his next project: creating a new political party.

Yurash spent the next two years working to meet all the requirements to start a political party in Colorado, including collecting thousands of signatures, filing mountains of paperwork, and spending thousands of dollars.

Finally, this past week the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office officially recognized the party as the newest minor political party. Prior to this, the Colorado Center Party was considered a Qualified Political Organization (QPO).

Yurash said the new designation will make it easier for centrist candidates to get on the ballot.

“It’s huge. It’s a very big deal,” said Yurash. “That status is very important because now candidates who register to vote with us can get on the general election ballot just by coming to our convention and going through the convention nomination process. They won’t have to go through the arduous process of getting qualified signatures to make the general election ballot like an independent candidate would.”

The party’s platform is a mixture of liberal and conservative beliefs.

“The Center Party is more left-leaning on the social issues and more right-leaning on the fiscal issues and crime,” said Yurash.

The party’s platform, for instance, calls for defending access to abortion rights. It also calls for tougher actions on crime, including requiring bail to stop the revolving door of repeat criminals. It also calls for minimizing the use of plea deals.

Kathy Wolf Brutscher decided to join the party because of concerns over reproductive rights.

“The two parties are divisive and aren’t willing to join together to find mutual solutions that will benefit everyone,” said Wolf Brutscher.

Jon Ludwig, a former Republican and self-described centrist, decided to join the party after the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“I think that was the closest we’ve ever been to having our democracy overthrown, “said Ludwig. “I happened to have this postcard sitting on my table that Steve had sent out. And looking through the postcard, it resonated with me on the different things that he proposed in it.”

Ludwig’s wife, Sandi, also joined the party.

“It doesn’t feel like that the government is working for the people,” said Sandi Suarez-Ludwig.

The Colorado Center Party is not affiliated with any national parties and plans to focus on state and local offices.

It’s hoping to appeal to the 47% of Coloradans who are unaffiliated.

“We’re attracting former Republicans, former Democrats, people who’ve even run for office as former Democrats and Republicans, and a lot of unaffiliated of course,” said Yurash. “We’re very much involved in candidate recruitment right now.”

Third parties have struggled to gain traction, and none of them currently pose a serious challenge to either of the two major political parties.

The leaders of the Colorado Center Party know it’ll be an uphill climb.

But given the partisanship gripping the country, they believe it’s a challenge worth taking.

To learn more about the Colorado Center Party, visit their website.

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