BY FREDA MIKLIN
Michael Fields is a young rising star among Colorado Republicans.
Jeff Hays will not run for re-election of the Colorado Republican Party after six years of leadership positions at the state and county level.
The Arapahoe County Republican Breakfast Club hosted outgoing state party chair Jeff Hays at its Feb. 6 regular monthly meeting at Maggiano’s DTC in Englewood.
Hays, who announced in January that he would not seek re-election as party chair, told the crowd that fundraising and national party resources, including cutting-edge data analytics, were used effectively in the November 2018 election. He explained that the primary reason for the crushing defeat of incumbent Republican candidates in Arapahoe County and statewide was insufficient resources. He said that Gov. Jared Polis spent $25 million, which was six times the amount available to Republicans. He also credited the Democrats’ coordinated voter registration effort, something the Republicans could not match with their number of available volunteers. He said,” Republicans have very talented people, but not enough of them. The Democrats had a stronger ground game.”
In response to questions, Hays acknowledged that the party had work to do in establishing a statewide message and infrastructure to reach unaffiliated voters. On the subject of 2020, he told the faithful that President Trump’s political staff is working in every state to line up delegates so that the 2020 Republican convention in Charlotte, N.C. results “in a coronation” for the president. He also said, “I don’t think there is any daylight between Sen. Cory Gardner and the president.”
Barb Piper, speaking on behalf of Gardner, on the subject of North Korea, told the crowd that the senator believes that “verifiable, irreversible denuclearization must be our goal.” She said he thinks the administration should make clear to North Korea that “the only way we will dismantle the U.S. and international sanctions is when the regime dismantles every single nut and bolt of its illicit weapons program—not a minute earlier.”
Michael Fields, executive director of Colorado Rising Action, a conservative communications and research organization spoke to the group about the importance of maintaining the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). Fields pointed out that TABOR merely limits the growth of government to inflation plus population growth. He said that the state budget has increased from $19 billion to $33 billion in the past decade, so there is sufficient money available to fund state operations, thus no need to get rid of TABOR.
Former Douglas County Republican chair Kelsey Alexander got up to ask for support of state Rep. Susan Beckman to replace Hays as the leader of the Colorado Republican Party. The decision will be made March 30. Also seeking the position are Rep. Ken Buck and current state party vice-chair Sherrie Gibson.
Wynn Shaw of the Lone Tree city council was in the crowd, along with the former Arapahoe County Assessor Marc Scott. Folks were happiest to see former Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon, who attended the meeting with her husband Jim.
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