BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER In a surprise political shift on March 20, Republicans Casper Stockham an...
Bob Roth, after serving for many years as a Councilmember and Mayor-Pro-Tem in Aurora, Colorado, announced tha...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER Steve Monahan is a candidate for House District 3 in the state legislatur...
It had been quite a long stretch since popular speaker Dan Caplis had addressed members and guests of Cherry C...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER After the March 3 presidential primary is in the books, Coloradans who ac...
U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, r...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER The regular monthly meeting of the Arapahoe County Republican Breakfast C...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER Richard Champion, incumbent mayor of the Town of Columbine Valley, popula...
U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) applauded the announcement from the City of Colorado Springs and the United S...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER Although the deadline to enter the primary is April 1, it doesn’t look li...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
In a surprise political shift on March 20, Republicans Casper Stockham and Steve House, who had been competing for the right to represent the GOP against Democratic U.S. Rep. Jason Crow in November, issued a joint statement announcing that Stockham was ending his quest for the Republican nomination for Colorado’s sixth congressional district. They also jointly announced that Stockham was going to shift his candidacy to Colorado’s seventh congressional district to run against seven-term Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter.
Said Stockham of his pivot to Perlmutter, “Ed Perlmutter has been a disaster for Colorado and for the citizens of CD7. Coloradans want and deserve real empowering solutions to skyrocketing healthcare costs, education choice and securing our nation’s weak and dangerous borders. Fighting alongside Steve (House) and other party leaders I am confident I can now mount an effective campaign in CD7. Now is the time to end Perlmutter’s progressive rubber DC stamp that has been taking our country in the wrong direction for more than 13 years.”
Said House, “Casper has been a longtime advocate working for education reform and for community empowerment in Colorado—I continue to be proud to call him a friend and will support him as he begins campaigning against the reckless policies of Rep. Perlmutter…There is a new conservative wave pouring across Colorado, and the majority are fed up with the overspending, overreaching, and overregulating by the left. The only thing the Democrats seem short on is—accountability. I look very much forward to leading the charge and changing that.”
In an interview with The Villager in January, when he was still a candidate in CD6, Stockham told us that he believes in term limits for Congress and all federal judges including judges of the United States Supreme Court. He also said he would change all regulatory agencies to advisory only so that only the Congress could approve federal regulations, because, said Stockham, “passing regulations without congressional approval is not constitutional.”
The seventh congressional district is just northwest of Denver and includes parts of Arvada, Westminster, Lakewood, Thornton, and Northglenn. Its residents have favored the Democratic candidate in every presidential election since it was formed in 2003. In his last race two years ago, Perlmutter bested his Republican challenger, Mark Barrington, by 25 points.
Stockham, an unwavering supporter of President Trump, is a consultant and ride-share driver who lives in CD6. He was the Republican candidate for Congress against U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette in Colorado’s first congressional district in 2016 and 2018, losing both races by a margin of more than two to one. The United States Constitution clearly states in section two of Article One that a Congressional representative need only reside in the state he or she represents, not the district. Current CD6 Rep. Jason Crow, running for his second term, lived in Denver before he moved into CD6 after winning election in 2018.
Bob Roth, after serving for many years as a Councilmember and Mayor-Pro-Tem in Aurora, Colorado, announced that he is seeking the Republican nomination to be the next Senator for Colorado District 26.
SD 26 covers parts of Aurora, Bow Mar, Cherry Hills Village, Columbine Valley, Englewood, Foxfield, Greenwood Village, Littleton and Sheridan.
In addition to his time on Aurora City Council, Bob has served in the following leadership roles: Chair and Executive Board Member of the Denver Regional Council of Governments, Executive Board Member of Colorado Municipal League, Board Member of Associated General Contractors of Colorado, Governor Appointee to the Regional Air Quality Council, Board Member of Aurora Sister Cities International, Board Member of Urban Drainage and Flood Control District and on the E-470 Highway Authority.
In a statement, Bob said “The Colorado State Legislature works best when there is a split General Assembly that represents a better balance for the people of Colorado. Having served on several regional boards and commissions, I understand how to collaborate with people who have diverse opinions and to do it for the good of the constituents.” In addition, Bob cited the following as some of the issues on which he would concentrate:
Former Aurora Mayor Bob LeGare offered his support, saying “Having served with Bob Roth on the Aurora City Council for many years, I strongly endorse his campaign for Senate District 26. Bob is well informed, listens to all sides of an issue and works hard for the benefit of his constituents.”
Nancy Sharpe, Arapahoe County Commissioner for District 2, weighed in with “I am happy to endorse Bob Roth for Senate District 26. Having served on multiple boards with Bob I know his dedication to public service and how hard he works at it. Having seen him in the community, I know how much he cares about his constituents. I am confident that he would bring the same attributes to the state capital.”
And former Mayor Ron Rakowsky of Greenwood Village emphasized “Bob Roth represents all the positive aspects of a dedicated public servant. Intellect, integrity and compassion.”
Bob is a third generation Coloradoan, was born in Leadville and has lived in SD26 in Aurora, Englewood, Littleton and Sheridan. Civically, Bob is a former mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, has worked with Habitat for Humanity and was a 2019 nominee for Man of the Year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Steve Monahan is a candidate for House District 3 in the state legislature because “this is what service looks like for me going forward.” A fiscal conservative, he says, “Overreach by the current legislature could have a negative impact on the prosperity we are enjoying. Colorado is a small business type of place.” House District 3 includes Cherry Hills Village, Englewood, Sheridan, Greenwood Village, and parts of northern Littleton.
A believer in competition and the private sector, Monahan is against the public option for health care currently being discussed by the legislature. He “doesn’t like public health care,” believing that “government ought to stay out of it.” Monahan says that we should “start to unwind government meddling in health care and incentivize charities.” Although his children are all vaccinated, Monahan believes that vaccination should be the choice of parents, not mandated by the government.
Recently retired after a 15-year career as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, where he was a member of the Navy’s Sixth Fleet Band, Monahan remains in the reserves and is starting a new career as a commercial pilot. He and his wife Michelle are the parents of three children, two of whom attend Cottonwood Creek Elementary in the Cherry Creek School District. The youngest Monahan is still in pre-school.
On the subject of transportation, the candidate thinks “we need a veteran of roads running CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation).” According to Monahan, “Only 6 ½ percent of the state budget is allotted to transportation. I’d like to fight to get more money to fix the roads.” Where would he take it from? “Health and Human Services”, he tells us. “It is 40 percent of the state budget.”
On the subject of the extreme risk protection order, or red flag bill, that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, Monahan “has some real questions about whether you can restrict the civil liberties of people who haven’t committed a crime.”
As a parent and military veteran who led active shooter trainings during his time in the United States Navy, Monahan does not believe in arming schoolteachers. He is a strong advocate for community policing and mental health professionals in the schools who are well acquainted with the student population and any issues with which they might be dealing.
He also believes that it is important for public schools to provide vocational education and that less money should be going to higher education. Asked by Villager publisher Bob Sweeney what he thought of the idea of the University of Colorado potentially becoming private since it gets so little money from the state anyway, Monahan said he would be OK with that.
A Republican, we asked Monahan how he would institute his policies for our state if he is elected while Democrats continue to hold a majority in both houses of the legislature in addition to the governor’s office. Monahan said he would “look for reasonable legislators to pass good legislation.”
The general election is Nov. 3, still more than eight months away. Monahan has not yet filed all the official paperwork with the secretary of state’s office but will do so soon. Presently the only candidate listed on the secretary of state’s website listed as running for HD3 representative is incumbent Democrat Meg Froelich, who was appointed to the position after Jeff Bridges vacated it, having himself been appointed to fill the vacancy in Senate district 26 created when former Sen. Daniel Kagan resigned. Those things all happened in January 2019.
It had been quite a long stretch since popular speaker Dan Caplis had addressed members and guests of Cherry Creek Republican Women (CCRW) and he received a warm welcome back. The proud graduate of the University of Colorado, who was a Democrat in his early years, was president of the student body at CU. CCRW has initiated a new format featuring a candidate of the month. This month highlighted John Kellner who is a candidate for District Attorney, 18th Judicial District. Coincidentally, Kellner was also president of the student body when he was at CU.
Caplis has been practicing law since 1983, is a respected trial attorney and is the founding partner of the Law Offices of Daniel J. Caplis. In addition, he has enjoyed decades of success as a legal analyst and commentator via the airwaves. Currently, he is the host of The Dan Caplis Show on 630 KHOW, drive time from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. He prides himself on treating callers to the station during his show with respect. “Republican ideas actually work,” said Caplis about his topic “Path to Victory.” “We lose to the stereotype of the party rather than the issues.”
After the March 3 presidential primary is in the books, Coloradans who actively participate in grass-roots party politics will get down to the important business of lining up candidates for all the other elective offices on the ballot this Nov. 3.
On March 7, any Coloradan who is a registered Democrat or a Republican will have the opportunity to gather with fellow party members at 3,133 individual neighborhood precinct caucuses to begin the process that will lead to the choosing of candidates for United States Senator (only the Democrats; Republicans are sticking with incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner), United States House of Representatives, state legislature, district attorney, state board of education, and University of Colorado Board of Regents, along with national party representatives. Participants will also consider questions about party platforms for the national conventions to be held this summer. 17-year-olds who will be 18 before Nov. 3 may participate in caucuses as long as they’ve already registered to vote.
Voters can get information on what precinct they live in and where their Democratic or Republican caucus meetings are being held on their party’s website. Republicans should go to caucuses.cologop.org. Democrats can find out what they need to know at coloradodems.org. Unaffiliated voters cannot participate.
At the March 7 caucuses, those voters who show up will choose precinct leaders and delegates to the county and district assemblies. The county assemblies will elect county candidates for the June 30 primary election and delegates to the state assembly and the congressional district assembly. District assemblies will do the heavy lifting, identifying primary candidates for the legislature, the Congress, the CU board of regents, state board of education and district attorney. Delegates to the national party conventions are also designated there and formally elected at the state assembly, which is reserved for statewide offices and national questions. The only statewide office on the 2020 ballot in Colorado is U.S. Senator and only one party, the Democrats, has a competitive race for that seat.
After county and district assemblies have done their work, the parties will hold their state assemblies on April 18. Republicans will gather at the FirstBank Center in Broomfield. Democrats will hold their state convention at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver.
A spot on the June 30 primary ballot can be won by obtaining at least 30 percent of the support of state assembly delegates or gathering the required number of voter signatures on petitions circulated. The number required and where they come from depends upon the office being sought.
Next on the agenda will be the national conventions. Democrats, who seem like they will have the more interesting gathering at this point, will meet from July 13-16 at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, WI. Republicans will assemble to nominate President Trump and Vice-President Pence for a second term on August 24-27 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC.
The long list of Democrats who are seeking a spot on the Democratic primary ballot for United States Senate are former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, former Governor John Hickenlooper, non-profit leader Lorena Garcia, scientist Trish Zornio, CU Colorado Springs professor of women’s and ethnic studies Stephanie Rose Spaulding, environmental activist and psychologist Diana Bray, Open Door Ministries founder Michelle Ferrigno Warren, and DU professor and homeland security consultant David Goldfischer. Two others, Critter Melton and Erik Underwood, have also announced their intentions to run. Only Romanoff and Hickenlooper have held previous elective offices.
U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released the following statement regarding a federal judge’s ruling allowing the T-Mobile and Sprint merger to proceed: “I’ve been championing support for this merger at the federal level because Colorado would be home to the nation’s next major wireless carrier – bringing thousands more jobs to our state. DISH is ready to build a nationwide network and I will continue to support a successful merger,” said Senator Gardner.
In October 2019, Gardner issued a statement in support of the Colorado Attorney General office’s announcement that it would support the T-Mobile and Sprint merger.
Gardner issued a statement in July 2019 praising the settlement by the Department of Justice with T-Mobile and Sprint in their proposed merger.
The regular monthly meeting of the Arapahoe County Republican Breakfast Club at Maggiano’s DTC on Feb. 5 drew 120 people, the largest crowd its seen in many months. The four Republican candidates who are anxious to challenge first-term incumbent Jason Crow in the sixth congressional district on Nov. 3 were there to make their case for support.
Republicans are still smarting over losing CD 6 to a Democrat in 2018 for the first time in the 35 years since it was created in January 1983. Even more stinging, a popular 10-year incumbent, Mike Coffman (now mayor of Aurora), was bested by a political newcomer by 12 percentage points.
Very popular former Arapahoe County Clerk Matt Crane, who also lost his seat to a Democrat who’d never held elective office before Nov. 2018, moderated the question-and-answer format.
Steve House, a previous Republican party state chair, said he was “running to prevent this country from turning Socialist.” He named health care and college tuition costs as equally important to all CD6 residents, including the 32 percent who are black and Hispanic. House touted his enthusiastic support of President Trump, reminding fellow Republicans that he endorsed Trump in May 2016 and was on the region 8 transition team after Trump’s election. On the national debt, House said we could save $1 trillion by “doing health care right.” He feels that he can win in 2020 because “CD 6 likes Trump better than they did in 2018 and suburban moms want to trust government again.” Describing his view of the job, House said, “Being a good congressman has nothing to do with passing laws. It’s about helping people.” The candidate’s view on immigration is that it is “an opportunity because we have more jobs than available workers in the U.S.”
John Szemler, a senior functional consultant with MCA Connect, believes that “CD6 is anti-Trump. To win, we need to move to the middle.” He believes, ”If you want Democrats and independents to vote, stop talking about the frigging wall. Talk about supporting universal Pre-K and public schools. That will get women to vote Republican.” Szemler believes that supporting paid family leave will also draw voters to support Republicans. He believes President Trump is right about immigration, trying to get a better trade deal with China, and getting allies to pay more for NATO. He is not a fan of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act, because “80 percent of the tax breaks went to the top 3 percent of Americans. We need to give it back to the middle class.” Asked about whether he would join the Freedom Caucus if elected, Szemler said, “No. I’ll create a Restoration Caucus to return the Republican party to the middle.”
Casper Stockham, United States Navy veteran, small business owner, trainer, and HR consultant, has run for Congress from CD1 twice, in 2014 and 2016, never garnering more than 28 percent of the vote against 23-year incumbent Diana DeGette. He believes he can win in CD6. Says Stockham, “I support the 2nd Amendment and I support the President in words and deeds. I usually wear a MAGA hat. I’m excited about everything he’s doing, including building the wall.” He vows to “fight any red flag law because it is unconstitutional,” and says he “can go toe to toe with Jason Crow.” How will he win? Stockham, who is African-American, explains, “CD6 is very diverse. President Trump has 50 percent approval in Hispanic communities and more than 30 percent approval in black communities.” He believes strongly in a balanced budget. “In ten years, the deficit will be more than 80 percent of GDP. We need to cut the deficit by cutting aid to other countries and subsidies to colleges and universities. We also need to look at Medicare and defense spending.” Asked about how he would win over suburban college-educated women, Stockham said, “With the right messaging.”
Rounding out the group of candidates was 25-year-old Ryan Gonzales, who said, “We need to reach out to Democrats and independents, including my generation that is underrepresented. Not all millennials are like AOC (U.S. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). I can attract Hispanics.” In responding to Crane’s question about the top issues in CD6, Gonzales followed instructions and made a list: “The number one issue is immigration, the number two issue is health care, including the cost of insurance and drugs, and the number three issue is the economy.” He said he supports what the President has done on the United States Mexico-Canada Agreement and China trade, because they are good for the economy and good for jobs. Gonzales believes that suburban college-educated women can be persuaded to vote for Republicans if “we remind them that there are more women in the work force and emphasize that Republicans want less government.” Asked about whether he would join the Freedom Caucus in the House if elected, Gonzales said, “I’d be open to it because I revere Congressman Jim Jordan.”
Richard Champion, incumbent mayor of the Town of Columbine Valley, population 1,400, was the selection of 38 of the 55 eligible voting members from the Republican 38th House District Vacancy Committee who were present at the Douglas H. Buck Community Recreation Center in Littleton on Feb. 8, to fill the remainder of the term of Susan Beckman.
Beckman, who was first elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2018, resigned on Jan. 17 to accept the position of Regional Director of U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Pursuant to state law CRS § 1-12-203, if the party vacancy committee of the representative that is being replaced fails to certify a selection within 30 days, the governor will fill the vacancy in five days.
In his speech to the precinct leaders prior to the vote, Champion shared his opposition to the legislature’s decision “to eliminate the electoral college” and to create a government run health care plan, which he said would cause costs to go up and services to go down. Champion said the “Second Amendment is about freedom and the red flag law is unconstitutional.” He told the voters, “I stand with President Trump,” and “I will fight and beat (my) Democratic opponent in November.” The seat will be on the Nov. 3 ballot.
The other person who sought the appointment was Brenda Stokes, vice-chair of the Arapahoe County Republican Party. Stokes, a data systems consultant, talked about safe communities, better roads, improved traffic flow, and graduates who understand civic responsibility in her address to the vacancy committee.
Several precinct leaders we spoke to after the vote told us, on the condition of anonymity, that they felt that it was important that the choice of a representative be made solely by residents of Arapahoe County and communications they received from others outside the county attempting to influence their vote were not well taken.
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