City Councilor Katy Brown of Cherry Hills Village and City Councilor Cathy Turley of Centennial with Sen. Cory Gardner at breakfast meeting of Arapahoe County Republicans at Maggianos DTC. Photo by Freda Miklin
BY FREDA MIKLIN
Arapahoe County Republican Breakfast Club met May 2 at Maggiano’s DTC to catch up with friends, talk about politics and hear from Yuma’s favorite son, first-term Sen. Cory Gardner.
Republican candidates for office greeting the crowd included Casper Stockham, who hopes to reverse a decades-long trend of Democratic dominance and unseat Rep. Diana DeGette in congressional district one, Richard Bassett running for HD 40, Win Deal running for 4th District Arapahoe County commissioner, and Greenwood Village resident Brian Watson, one of three Republicans hoping to be Colorado’s next state treasurer.
Watson gave a short, but an impressive campaign speech. He told fellow Republicans that he is from Olathe and understands the importance of water to our state. He explained that his business, Northstar Commercial Partners, buys vacant buildings and improves them, making them productive again and creating jobs. Watson described the responsibilities of state treasurer as 1) returning $1.3 billion in unclaimed assets to rightful owners; 2) acting as Colorado’s chief financial officer; and 3) serving on the PERA board. He said PERA currently has $32 billion in unfunded debt and as treasurer, he would use his business experience to address the problem. He also pledged to not accept a state salary if elected.
Current office-holders in the crowd who were up for re-election in 2018 included Arapahoe County stalwarts, clerk Matt Crane and treasurer Sue Sandstrom, and Secretary of State Wayne Williams. Other elected officials who came to listen were city council members Katy Brown from Cherry Hills Village, Cathy Turley from Centennial, Wynne Shaw from Lone Tree and Dave Gruber from Aurora.
A first-term senator, Gardner shared common Republican themes, telling supporters that the president had repealed billions of dollars of regulations and overseen the appointment of large numbers of circuit court judges around the country. He reminded everyone that U.S. Supreme Court Judge Neil Gorsuch started out on the circuit court. He touted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and its positive impact on business, noting that corporate tax rates were last revised in 1986. Gardner said that President Trump has done more than any previous president to end the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and ridiculed President Obama’s policy toward the regime, which he said was described by the prior administration as “strategic patience.” He contrasted that with Trump’s approach of increasing sanctions on North Korea and encouraging other countries to close embassies there. He stressed the importance of the current administration having Kim Jong Un named a state sponsor of terror. The senator closed his remarks by telling the crowd not to let the media fool them into believing that Republicans stand to lose control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 election.
In response to questions from the group, Gardner refused to say whether he supported Republican Sen. Charles’ Grassley’s law to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller, except to say that it is “premature,” and that the investigation should be completed to prove that the president “did not collude.” He went on to say that Republicans like Trump, “because he fights,” and that, “We’re in a battle for the survival of our Christian nation.” One person stood up to say that the nasty partisan back-and-forth in the nation’s capital was not good for our country.
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