Names of Past Chairs:
Ralph Jollensten (2003-2005)
Paul Thompson (2005-2009)
Sarah Mann (2009-2013)
Mike Jones (2013-current )
Fun Facts About the Douglas County Democratic Party
The earliest reference to the beginning of the organization of the Democrats in Douglas County is found in booklets and scrapbooks made by a present day Castle Rock resident. One of the items is a program booklet from a meeting of the Douglas County Jane Jefferson Club from July 24, 1958 held at the Wolhurst County Club, 8025 S. Santa Fe - now the Littleton Large Animal Clinic. This old time Democrat stated that the Democratic party was founded and was organized a year or two before that 1958 meeting.
The Democratic Party has been visible at the Douglas County Fair since the mid-1980s with a booth as well as participating in the parade. In 1988 the Douglas County Democratic party purchased a prize-winning lamb at the auction! Cotton candy, watermelon and candy along with other items have been sold from the booth each year. In 2013, the Douglas County Democratic Party was represented by a float in the Park Day, 4th of July, and Douglas Country Fair parades.
Elbert County's Democratic Party and the Douglas County Democratic Party have had a close relationship through the years with a picnic in Elbert County one year featuring a donkey race. Douglas County has had an annual summer picnic at parks in the Franktown area (Whispering Pines), Castle Rock, and Highlands Ranch. LeRoy Nitsch, a former chairman and professional auctioneer, conducted the Colorado JJ Dinner auctions for several years. In the early 1990's,two fundraiser cocktail parties were held at the Highlands Ranch Mansion with a large attendance. Congressman Tim Wirth was the guest of honor the first year and Gov. Roy Romer the following year.
Weekly Friday "Midnight Bingo", with a steady core of volunteers selling "Pickles", contributed to the huge amount of $30,000+ as reported by the Treasurer during the mid to late 1980s. These proceeds were designated by Colorado State law to be used only for "educational purposes" so a professional looking newsletter was mailed to all 2000 registered Democrats in the County quarterly. The newsletter was written by Pat Nagorka and edited by Carolyn Kallemeyn. Due to new restrictive laws and difficulty finding volunteers, the decision was made to cease sponsoring Bingo. The end of Bingo also ended mailing the newsletter to all registered Democrats in Douglas County at that time.
In recent years one notable Democrat from Douglas County, Gail Schoettler, attained a high elected office in Colorado; that of the State Treasurer and then Lt. Governor. She lost by approximately 8,000 votes for the office of Governor. She also served as a board member and President of the Douglas County School Board. Pieter Kallemeyn also served on the Douglas County School Board, both as a member and board president. Other Democrats have shown interest in seeking elected office since the mid-1980s. Kyle Timmons, Barbara O'Grady, and Jerri Hill were candidates for the Senate District. Jerri Hill also ran for a House District seat. Paul Stroffus, Rob Wandersheid, Darrell Gubbels and Jerri Frunzi were candidates for County Commissioner. Paul's wife, Pam, made the first Douglas County Democrats banner. Gary Uhlmann was elected to the first city council of Lone Tree after the incorporation vote was approved. Greg Lopez was elected Mayor of Parker. Lance Wright was a candidate for a Congressional office. Linda Caccione was elected to one term as 1st Vice Chairman of the Colorado Democratic party. Kyle Timmons was general chairman of the Colorado JJ Dinner in 1993. Sometime prior to 1980 Royal McKinster served as Sheriff and Mr.Carol Hier served as County Clerk and Recorder and then as County Commissioner. A Douglas County Democrat has not been elected to office since 1988 except Gail Schoettler!