Last night I attended the Jefferson County Republican Central Committee meeting, along with nearly 200 other local precinct and district leaders. Considering the central order of business was to ratify new by-laws and the snows of the big storm were just beginning to fall, turnout was not at all bad.
The main bill might also have helped bring some folks in. All three Republican gubernatorial candidates got their six-minute turn on the stump. And Alex’s observations notwithstanding, all three comported themselves well and were equally well received by the audience. The biggest loser at last night’s event was obviously Bill Ritter — whose unpopularity seemed unrivaled.
As for me, I’m still with Josh Penry — though anyone who watches Dan Maes in action can’t help but be impressed with a third candidate who brings an exceptional amount of skill and determination to this race.
Without a doubt, however, the star of the evening was state party vice chair Leondray Gholston. He received a warm welcome and a standing ovation for his enthusiastic and eloquent recitation of first principles.
Conspicuous by his absence was not only new 7th Congressional District candidate Ryan Frazier but any representative from his campaign, either. Apparently, someone was supposed to be there on Frazier’s behalf but didn’t show up for what might have been a legitimate reason. As I understand it, Frazier called county chair Don Ytterberg this morning to apologize for the absence — a necessary and classy move.
The absence was conspicuous because it doesn’t fit Frazier’s M.O. If a one-time mistake, all will be forgiven. If it portends a pattern, Jeffco Republicans will grow uneasy.
In the meantime, other 7th CD hopefuls took the stage, including:
- Brian Campbell, who was enthusiastically applauded for his role in coordinating the local Tea Party movement, the senior candidate in the race so far
- Mike Sheely, who strikes me as a good guy but just a bit out of his league in trying to take on Ed Perlmutter
- Jimmy Lakey, a one-time KNUS radio host and entrepreneur who is preparing to officially launch a campaign in the coming days
On another note, I was impressed to meet firsthand a strong candidate in my state senate district. John Odom kicks off his Senate District 20 campaign tonight in Golden. I encourage you to check out his campaign.
Other officials and candidates spotted on the scene?
- For U.S. Senate, Cleve Tidwell and Vincent Martinez — who makes Tidwell look like a highly credible candidate by comparison (frontrunners Jane Norton and Ken Buck were not there in person but represented respectively by a campaign staffer and a spouse)
- For Secretary of State, Scott Gessler stayed on the inside track to the nomination with personal greetings of incoming committee members
- State Senator Mike Kopp, aiming for re-election in District 22
- State Representatives Cheri Gerou, Jim Kerr, and Ken Summers
- County Assessor Jim Everson, County Sheriff Ted Mink, County Commissioners Faye Griffin and Kevin McCaskey, District Attorney Scott Storey