BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
Steve House served as chair of the Colorado Republican Party in 2015 and 2016. After Ken Buck was elected to that position in March, he brought House back to serve in the position of CEO.
House came to Maggiano’s DTC on August 7 to address party members at their regular 7:00 a.m. monthly breakfast meeting. He immediately focused on the 2020 election, saying, “Colorado is very important. Republicans need to speak to unaffiliated voters.” He explained that the unaffiliated are the largest voting block in our state and the group that will ultimately decide the winner in statewide and national contests. House believes that 2020 will be “the beginning of the great transformation and it will last ten years.” He anticipates there will be transformation in health care, gun violence and innovation, and that it will be possible “if the government stays out of the way and eases regulation.” He predicts “transportation will transform with seamless urban mobility that won’t require increasing the size of our roads.”
Addressing the best way to win over independent voters, House quoted former Colorado Senator Bill Armstrong, who he said once told him, “Tell people what you believe in. Don’t tell them what they should believe.”’
He went on, “Winning 2020 is simple, but it’s not easy. Republicans need to turn out voters over age 60, veterans, and independents.” According to House, the GOP needs 55 percent of unaffiliated voters to win. He added, “Experts have determined that unaffiliated voters won’t change their vote based on your platform. Listen to people and learn about issues you are not familiar with. Above all, don’t be sarcastic.”
House said, “We know we have 1,266,610 votes already for Sen. Cory Gardner and President Donald Trump in 2020. We need 1,500,000 to win.”
Turning to 2019, House told the crowd that Republicans need to win in Aurora, especially in city council races. City council and mayor are both non-partisan positions in Aurora, just as they are in most cities. Said Dave Gruber, a current member of the Aurora City Council, “Democrats are focusing on overcrowded detention facilities and the private contractor who’s running them instead of the actual border crisis.”
On local Democrats, House said, “(Gov.) Jared Polis is giving Republicans an opening because Hispanic parents don’t want their fourth graders getting mandatory sex education and they don’t want to be required to vaccinate their children.” (U.S. Rep.) Jason Crow, he said, “is too focused on President Trump and not on CD6.”
House ended his remarks with another quote, this one unattributed: “Politics is supposed to be uncomfortable. If you’re in politics and you’re not uncomfortable, you’re probably running in the same direction as the devil and you need to change course.”
Longtime GOP leader John Andrews rose to say, “House is what a 21st century Republican should sound like.”
Wayne Walvoord brought his petitions and his business cards to the meeting, identifying himself as a volunteer circulator for the Recall Jared Polis group. The reasons for the recall listed on the back of Walvoord’s business card were Polis’ support of the national popular vote, new rules for the oil and gas industry, “mandating comprehensive human sexuality education,” and support of the Red Flag law.
After Walvoord spoke about his mission, Todd Spanier, a data scientist, pushed back. He said that trying to recall Polis would fail and likely result in solidifying Polis’ support with those who voted for him. Spanier recommended Republicans listen to House and focus on future elections, not those in the past.
The room was full of past, current and future elected officials, including Arapahoe County Commission Chair Jeff Baker, former Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane, Englewood City Councilmember Rita Russell, Aurora City Councilmember Johnny Watson, former Parker Mayor and candidate for governor Greg Lopez, former state GOP chair and political pundit Dick Wadhams (who predicted that John Hickenlooper will enter the race for senator but not have an easy time getting the nomination), CU Regent John Carson, former CD1 and current CD6 congressional candidate Casper Stockham, and Centennial city council candidates Don Sheehan and Richard Holt.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |