On Wednesday, June 27th, following the primary victories on both sides of the aisle, Wayne Williams (R-CO, current Secretary of State) announced a statewide Unity Tour. The GOP email blast, paid for by the Wayne Williams for Colorado, said, “Isn’t it exciting that we finally have our GOP slate for November?! I’m sure happy with the outcome of yesterday’s primary, and I hope you are, too. Tomorrow, I’m hitting the road with our nominees – Walker Stapleton for Governor, George Brauchler for Attorney General, Brian Watson for Treasurer, and Ken Montera for CU Regent At-Large for a UNITY tour around the state of Colorado!”
We arrived to Boulder County GOP headquarters, 619 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont, to a room barely a quarter packed but which, by the end of the event, would be overflowing. MC’d by Colorado GOP Vice-Chair, Sherrie Gibson, current Colordado State Senator Tim Neville was the first speaker. Tim Neville is a Republican member of the Colorado State Senate from state Senate District 16. Neville was born and raised in Florida, according to his wikipedia page. At the top of the speaking list, Neville gave the overall message for unity, saying concisely, “of course we’d love to have a governor that represents the republican party. It’s important, we gotta start taking it back, and we gotta start taking it now. It comes down to walking, calling, racing down, all the hard work and we have a top of the ticket now that’s going to help us with that too. So, bottom line, it’s time to get together it’s time to get to work. We’re already working hard and we’re going to be working a lot harder. And I appreciate everything you guys do to to help make it happen.
Candidates for office and GOP officials who spoke, include:
Brian Watson, candidate for Treasurer
“The person that I’m running against, representative Young, we can absolutely beat this person. But we can only do it if we work together. And so I’m going to run my campaign as if I’m always 10 points behind. I’m going to put everything on the field, and I promise you every single day, I will move that ball down the field. Sometimes we might get an inch, sometimes we might get a touchdown. But we’re going to move that ball down the field on election day, and we’re going to win. Thank you so much for being here.
George Lane, RNC National Committeeman
Thanks everybody for being here. Behind our next governor [indicates towards Walker Stapleton], is a sign talking about Neil Gorsuch. And, this is so important right now, because elections do matter. Whether it’s for our state offices, or governor’s race, when Donald Trump became president, the most important thing was, he was going to have the ability to name new Supreme Court justices. And now another one is coming in. And it is going to change our country, generationally. It’s so important, every race is important. You’re here, so I know you’re already committed. But I need you to go back and talk to all your friends, all your family, get them involved. We need every vote in November to win. It’s so important. Thank you so much for being here.
Lightnight Round 1
Peter Yu, candidate for HD 2
My name is Peter Yuh, I’m going to be your 2nd congressional district candidate. Now that the primary is over, this is when we really need to get to work. […] This upcoming election will be one of the most important, if not the most important election of our time. The reason why? The Democratic party that we knew passed, it’s no longer there. They’re now progressive… that is scary, and it’s no longer admissible to just sit back and just be okay with losing elections. This election is too important. We have to get Walker Stapleton in the office, we can’t have Jared Polis in place. It’s important that we work together. I’m excited with what’s happening in Denver. We need more than your vote. We need your help. We need your effort, we need to get knocking on doors. We need to get the word out. I think about 30% of republicans voted in the primary, we need to get that way up. We need to get affiliateds on our side and we need to get the funds moving as well. So obviously, I’m excited, I’m excited as well to see Walker Stapleton win our next governorship, I’m excited to be representing you in DC. Thank you very much.
David Ross, candidate for HD 12
I’m David Ross, running in HD 12, because I just did not believe that any race should be unopposed. It’s absolute nonsense that we had three unopposed races that I saw on the wiki. So, this one will not be unopposed. I pledge to you, thank you by the way, for anybody who didn’t write in anybody else. Thank you very much for choosing my name. But I do pledge to you, I’m going to go every week to the street fair, I’m going to go knocking door to door, this is an important race, it couldn’t be any clearer. Anyway, my name is David Ross, I do appreciate your support. Thank you.
Kevin Sipple, candidate for HD 13
My name is Kevin Simple, I’m running for house district 13, it’s kind of weird one. It’s the west half of Boulder County, which is almost solid democrat. And then Gilpin County, Clear Creek County, Grand County, and Jackson County, way up near there Wald. And, so it’s going to be an interesting challenge. But, I actually got way more votes out of the mountain counties than I did out of Boulder County. But hopefully I’ll be able to switch that around a little because all a candidate needs is the west half of the city of Boulder, and that’s not really fair, but that’s the way it is. And, thanks for any of you who did vote for me. And I’ll be talking to you again soon.
Eric Rutherford, candidate for HD 33
My name is Eric Rutherford, House District 33, which is Erie, Superior, Broomfield. I just met my campaign manager earlier, and an interesting quote was brought up: more unaffiliated voted, in my district, than Republicans. And my sense is, people are thirsty for something, people are thirsty for change. So, if we’re going to make it, this is going to be the year. Eric Rutherford, House District 33, Broomfield, Erie, and Superior and I appreciate your vote and support. Thank you.
Gary Cooper, candidate for Boulder County Commissioner
I’m Gary Cooper, I’m the Republican candidate for Boulder County commissioner. The reason I got involved in this is, I’ve been a vice chair for a couple of years. One of things that I found most discouraging, was [unclear, mic not picking up voice] is the word “afraid”. “I’m afraid, I don’t want my neighbors to know I’m a republican.” “I’m afraid” is the word that comes up and it disgusts me. I’ve lived here, and I don’t want this world to be dictated by this Stalinist behavior of the County Commissioners. So, my hope is trying to get people out, to get you invested in the process, and to get you and your friends together. There was only 10, 000 republicans who voted, and therefore there were 43,000 independents. We have 46,770 registered republicans in Boulder, we have 32,500 that are active; the rest of them don’t vote. So, we have to get people invested in changing this, and that “we” is you. Because I’ve been trying really hard, for a couple of, three years. And I have failed miserably. I’ve been working really hard within the first few months of this process. And, getting people to raise their hands and say, “I’m willing to do this work”, has been very discouraging. So, if we’re going to get Walker elected, and we can… Boulder County, we get 40,000 more votes than we normally get, he gets elected. I get elected. We get the whole slate elected and change the state legislature at the same time. You have to get involved.
Doug Robinson, former primary candidate for Governor
I have to tell you, to be honest: It stinks to lose. It is hard to be here today, but I’m here because the stakes are too high. Over this campaign I’ve had the opportunity sit next to Jared Polis on two occasions in forums and hear his vision for Colorado, and it’s not a place I want to live. It is too important that we support this man, Walker Stapleton, and make sure that he is our next governor, so that’s why I’m here today, that’s why I’m maxed out to his campaign early today. And we think about the same thing, because you know what, money is going to be everything in this election It’s manpower and it’s money, those two things are going to make the difference, allow us to win, and beat the democrats. We have to support Walker, we have to support our other candidates, Brian, and our other state candidates. We can do it. We can turn this state back to what it needs to be, which is a red state. Thank you very much.
Greg Lopez, former primary candidate for Governor
Thanks for coming out. As I told you before, and it’s so true: Elections, it’s about ideas and values. And right now, we are in that battle. And this is the man that’s going to make sure that we turn Colorado red again. [Gestures to Walker Stapleton]. And it’s up to us, to make sure that we get that red tsunami and overshadow that blue wave, as they call it. But let’s do this: let’s make sure we unite, let’s make sure we band together, let’s make sure we have one voice, ‘cuz there’s one voice. Walker will be the person we will champion to the top and he can win, and he can beat Polis. And he knows it, I know it, we gotta believe it. He’s gonna get us there.
Walker Stapleton, GOP candidate for Governor
Thank you very much Sherrie. And I want to thank Doug and Greg who have now been, I think this our fifth stop, I hopefully, the heat’s uh, [laughter] has gotten to me, but [interruption, “this is your favorite stop!’] Yeah, exactly: enemy territory. You find out who your friends are during times of extreme heat or extreme cold. This tour that we’re doing today, we got a couple more stops after this, isn’t just symbolic, it’s real. And it’s real because we are coming together as a republican party, from the top down, with great candidates that can win statewide, because the stakes are too high this election not to. And the stakes for Colorado’s future are too high not to. And I had told folks all over the the State of Colorado, that I am consistently and constantly inspired by what I’m doing, by the opportunity and the blessing to run for governor by my three children. My oldest son is 10, his name is Craig. We have a 6 year old daughter, Collette, we call Coco, and our youngest who is Olivia who is 4. Which means my wife is a saint, above all else, but the kids remind me of the stakes in this election. And Doug, at some prior stops, had talked about his kids, he has a few more than me, they’re older, but he cares as I do about the future generations in Colorado and as Greg does as well. And the economic future I want for my kids is hopefully going to be one of abundant economic opportunity. Not just for them, but for every child in Colorado. And that opportunity is being threatened like never before. We cannot allow Jared Polis to determine the future of Colorado for our kids and our grandkids. We cannot allow it to happen.
Just two years ago, I was the co-chairman of an effort with Bill Ritter, the former democratic governor, to defeat statewide a terrible public policy idea for a Bernie Sanders-style single-payer health care system for Colorado. And we defeated that because it was estimated that the costs to start that would be a minimum of $10 billion to Colorado. And they’ve only increased that, by the way. And yet Jared Polis wants to return a Bernie Sanders, single payer health care system to Colorado as the future of healthcare in this state, and we cannot allow that to happen.
Jared Polis has talked about renewable energy standards – I’m by the way, I am for all forms of energy. I’m for wind, I’m for solar, I’m for natural gas, and I’m for oil, but I’m for letting the market decide the most cost effective way forward for energy. And as I said on Tuesday night, the other side thinks this is an all or nothing proposition. I believe we can advance our values of clean air and streams to fish in summer and mountains to hike in summer, and ski in winter with our families, and have a responsible energy industry in our state. Colorado can continue to beat our nation in responsible energy development. But Jared Polis wants to impose renewable standards that would cost us $45 billion. He wants to ban fracking in Colorado, which would put 230,000 jobs at risk and take $32 billion in economic impact away from Colorado, provided by the energy industry.
He wants to provide free preschool without telling anybody how he plans to pay for it. Educating our kids should be one of our greatest priorities and as the father of preschool aged children, I care immensely about their educational future. But, I want to make sure that Jared Polis explains to me as a dad, and my wife as a mom, how he plans to pay for all of this stuff. Because if you’ve been pulling out your calculator as I’ve been talking, you’ll find that Jared Polis’ promises quickly add up to more than $50 billion with a ‘b’ to Colorado, and our state budget is only $29 billion. And he has refused to quantify, and the media hasn’t asked him, how he plans to pay for any of this. And I have a pretty good idea. He plans to turn our state from a regulatory standpoint and a tax standpoint into looking a lot like California. Without the water. And we cannot allow that to happen to the future of this state and I will fight like never before over the next 120 days to make sure that my kids and Greg’s kids and Doug’s kids and Brian’s kids do not, and Wayne’s kids, welcome, our great Secretary of State, do not grow up in a future determined by Jared Polis. Thank you all so much, let’s win this thing.
Lightnight Round 2
Brian Donahue, candidate for HD 11
Appreciate your comments. I came out of a family of many generations, that the Clintons, the Obamas, all the others talking heads of the left side of the world, that are the epitome of what I grew up. Long story short, I’m a sinner saved by grace. I was saved in 1971 while I was in the army. Against family wishes. I started the change from the world view I was raised with to the worldview that I have now and continue to develop. About 1972, let me say it this way, I saw everything that Obama turned out to be, without being able to fill in the names and places and dates and events, and I saw it in its entirety before he opened his mouth the first time… I’m not bragging, I’m hoping that I have something to offer the worldview of this group. Okay. I’m not a politician. I’m not polished, I’ve been a carpenter for the better of 40 years. [“Jesus was too!”] So I wanted to be a team member here, but I’m very independent. And what I have to offer is, is you shall know the truth, the truth will make you free. God forbid, because I say it this way, even when the truth is butt ugly, and it’s the butt ugly truth that we have not been willing to take down to the mat that’s enslaving us! In my opinion. Aunt Helen in heaven said, “tell them it’s your opinion.” She’d be proud of me. I’m not going to take too much time, but I’d like to say this: the good book says that the unsaved are wiser than the saved because, and I’m going to say it this way, they’re going for all the marbles. They ain’t playin’ politics, and they’ll pay any price to get there. And I know that some of this stuff has to stay among friends, but I guess if I have a message from what I just told you, it’s they are going for all the marbles, they don’t care about $50 billion that destroys America in Colorado, sir. They do not care, that’s they’re objective. Alright.
Johnny Barrett, candidate for State Board of Education
I see that I’m the only one that wore a tie. I guess I didn’t get the memo? Alright. Thank you for coming here this afternoon. Look, there’s something that I want you guys to think about as you leave here, I’m gonna be short and sweet about this. Alright? I’m running against a person that is the chairperson of the board of education. This lady has been here now 10 years, and in 10 years time I can point to congressional district 2 and say, at a third grade level, three and a half kids out of ten test at a third grade level. Why is that important? Well, from grades 1st and 2nd, they’re learning to read. Right? 3rd grade forward, they’re reading to learn. 3 1/2 out of 10. 10 years, Angelika Schroeder’s had this position here, alright? She’s not going to come out, she’s not going to debate me, she’s not going to fight me. I’m going to have to pick a fight on this… So I’m looking for your votes, I’m looking for your support. I’m Johnny Barrett, alright? You’re gonna see my name, you’re gonna see Barrett in Education. You’re going to see orange. You’re not going to see red, white and blue. You’re going to see orange, ‘cause it’s going to be fighting around here. And I’m going to need your help with some of this fighting here. Alright? And that’s my message. God bless you, Thank you.
Ken Montero, candidate for CU Regent
I want to thank you for being here. I was just thinking, I’m new to this. This is my first campaign. The last campaign I had was for student body president, and I won that. But my first Lincoln Day Dinner was here in Boulder. And I can’t tell you how nervous I was to walk up on that stage, but I learned really quickly how supportive republicans are. I learned very quickly how important you take this race. Education is so important. And when you’ve got that university right there on the road, that I went to, thank goodness, by scholarship. I was the first of my family to be able to go to college thanks to a scholarship offered by the president’s leadership class. It got me to the business school, it got me to two degrees, and set me, not only on a career that lasts over 30 years in corporate America, but it set the foundation for my life. And I think about why did that happen… it’s because when I was at CU, they were teaching young people how to think, not what to think. It wasn’t about indoctrination, it was about critical thinking skills. They were teaching young people to take two differing ideas, put them together, and make the best decision that they could based on the knowledge that they had in front of them. And I think what we’ve gotten to was emotional outburst, right? “I need a safe space.” Well, I gotta tell you, a safe space isn’t for law school, it’s for preschool! And preschool shouldn’t be free, should it? So I want to tell you, I’m real proud to be here. I really appreciate the support you’ve given me. My opponent, the democrat, is a retiring instructor of environmental studies at the University in Boulder. She’s been here about 7 years. I’ve got 4 generations in this state; I came from blue-collar steel workers and farmers down in Pueblo. And I bleed what I think about Colorado, and it concerns me so much when I see what’s happening to our state. We don’t need more liberals running the University of Colorado. We need to keep a conservative balance, understanding of what it takes to make something capable of being a good citizen in a good employee. And I wanna do that for you. I’m Ken Montera.
Wayne Williams, current Secretary of State and candidate for Secretary of State
Folks! I’ve been involved for about 40 years. And that means, I’ve had the experience of having a primary that I’ve worked hard for a candidate, and then lost. And I picked up the phone the next day, and called the person who won, and said, ‘how can I help?’ It’s not always easy, but that’s what we have to do now that the primaries are over. We have to come together as a party. The choices are stark. There is a choice in a lot of races, between competence and nothing. For attorney general, we’ve nominated a district attorney that’s tried major cases, that’s served overseas in the military. They have nominated someone who’s never tried a case in Colorado. Never. They’ve nominated for secretary of state someone who has never run an election. I have the privilege of running the state with the safest elections in America. Not according to me, but according to the Washington Post. And we need to continue that, we need to make sure that elections are safe. We just passed the 700,000th business. We have the cheapest business renewal fees in America, so we’re doing our part. But I need a governor that will help deliver that. That’s why I’m here, going around the state with Walker today. Why all of the folks that ran against him in the primary have been to at least some of the events. Doug Robinson gave a maxed out check at one of our events earlier. Folks we have to come together, we have to work hard. That’s the only way it’s going to happen. And, it can be done. But it’s not going to happen just by talking to our friends. We’re going to have to talk to those other people in the grocery store, we’re going to have to talk to our neighbors, and we can do it. And you can play a key role here in Boulder. With your help. Thank you so much. And, do elections matter? I don’t know! Look at a couple Supreme Court decisions! Yes, elections matter. We can do it, thank you for being here today.
Jeff Hays, Colorado GOP Chairman
Seriously, I had talked with governor Bill Owens, and he, he took frequent abuse, he got called a lot of bad names when he was the governor. He admits that, but he freely would admit that the worst name that he had ever been called is “the last republican governor”. And it’s incumbent upon all of us to donate our time, our talent, and our treasure, to make sure that we unencumber him of that title. The best chance we’ve had in decades. This is a good man, he’s a great candidate, we are blessed to have Walker Stapleton, and all these state-wides, carrying our torch, the torch of freedom, straight across all Colorado. So, it’s a real blessing for me to be with you. Thank you so much for being on our team. Now let’s go get this thing done. Many of you have already heard this before, I speak a different language. I spell fun: W-I-N, so let’s have some fun in the next four months and get this thing done.
*all photos from the Boulder County Republicans Facebook page.