VIB Program Launched

By: Megan Schrader

Updated: August 20, 2015 at 9:23 pm

Wendy Miller said she knows first-hand how small businesses can get steamrolled at the Colorado Capitol by bigger businesses with high-paid lobbyists who have lawmakers’ ears.

“We saved 20 companies from going under,” Miller, a Colorado Springs small-business owner, told a crowd of GOP business owners Thursday night. “I don’t want any of you to feel helpless and feel like you’re a victim of some law that you can’t do anything about. We are standing here today as proof.”


Trump Returning to CS

By: Megan Schrader The Gazette September 13, 2016
Donald Trump is scheduled to come back to Colorado Springs on Saturday night, according to the schedule on the GOP presidential nominee’s website.

Trump will hold a rally at jetCenters of Colorado at Colorado Springs Airport at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, according to the website.

Jeff Hays, chairman of the El Paso County GOP, confirmed the news Tuesday, saying it’s a sign that Trump is back in the game in Colorado.

“The polls have narrowed since a lot of those projections were made,” Hays said, referencing polling in July and August that indicated Trump trailed by double digits in Colorado. “He’s got a chance in Colorado and El Paso County is the gateway to that victory.”

Hays said that a visit like this encourages volunteers and candidates up and down the ticket.

Magellan Strategies, a Colorado polling firm, found Hillary Clinton led Trump by a mere five points in the state, in a poll that had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.38 percent. The poll was conducted from Aug. 29 to 31.

El Paso County Commissioner Mark Waller, who is a consultant on the Trump campaign, said there is a path to victory in Colorado.

“They are working to register new voters and that has been very successful thus far,” Waller said, guessing that the event will be a large one aimed at motivating new voters. “I think the campaign is starting to feel that there is a real shot for Trump to win.”

Voter registration has traditionally been Democrat’s strong point and Clinton’s campaign has a robust ground force in Colorado working on get-out-the-vote drives. Clinton’s team doesn’t release exact numbers of employees in the state, but Emmy Ruiz, campaign director for Colorado, said the campaign is still growing and not drawing down.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Ruiz said, whose team sent out a memo to supporters in August saying polls would fluctuate in coming weeks. “I think this is a race that is going to tighten.”

Ruiz said they are reaching out to Hispanic voters, women, veterans and active-duty military and trying to pick up Republicans who are defecting from the Trump campaign.

Ruiz said it’s “likely” that Clinton will come back to Colorado, but said campaign travel is difficult to predict. Clinton was in Commerce City in early August for a public event.

The campaign officially has 25 offices throughout the state.

Trump is beginning to air TV ads in Colorado.

He was in Colorado Springs on July 29 for a campaign event at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He also held an event in Denver that day.

JetCenters of Colorado is located at 1575 Aviation Way. Trump will be in Houston earlier that day, according to his schedule.

Tickets to the event in Colorado Springs are available online at:

View the original article here:

Young Republicans Rock Vote

POSTED BY J. Adrian Stanley ON THU, JUN 4, 2015 AT 2:13 PM

Young Republicans showed up in higher percentages to the mayoral runoff than their Democratic or unaffiliated counterparts, El Paso County Republican Party executive director Daniel Cole points out.
In a letter to local Republicans, Cole notes that 21.9 percent of young Republican registered voters (ages 30 to 44, roughly) cast a ballot in May, compared to 18.6 percent of young Democrats and just 13.5 percent of unaffiliated young voters. John Suthers, the more conservative candidate, defeated Mary Lou Makepeace, 68 percent to 32 percent.
The Independent and the Colorado Springs Business Journal challenged young voters to “rock the vote”  in the election. The hope was that at least 20 percent of voters ages 30 to 44 would cast a ballot. Cole notes that 17.3 percent actually did — an improvement from 14.4 percent in the April city election.
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Kit Roupe Seeks Re-election

By Megan Schrader Updated: July 28, 2015 at 3:21 pm 
Rep. Kit Roupe, R-Colorado Springs, is running for a second term in 2016, she announced Tuesday.
Roupe won House District 17 in 2014 ousting the incumbent Tony Exum, a democrat who is running again in 2016 too.
The seat, which represents southeast Colorado Springs, has a high turnover and has changed hands every two years since 2006.
“My legislative successes during the 2015 session are already bringing jobs to Southeast Colorado Springs, positive changes to our school district sand improvements to public safety,” Roupe said in a statement. “But there is still more to do. I am ready to go and willing to serve.”
Roupe pointed to three bills she was a co-sponsor of in 2015 that the governor signed into law. One created a grant program for workforce development training programs, the other was the bill that reduced testing in Colorado and the third put limits on who could receive a Colorado marriage license without appearing in person (a proxy marriage).
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Carson in CS Thursday

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who is running for president, will rally with supporters in America the Beautiful Park Thursday at 6 p.m. according to the El Paso County GOP.

Carson came to Colorado Springs almost exactly a year ago to sign copies of his book, but he was still on the fence then about a bid for president.

The turnout at that event was apparently impressive enough for Carson to return, now as an official candidate. He also had a strong showing in Denver this June at the Western Conservative Summit.

Carson came in first among the 18 GOP candidates that were identified at the time in a straw poll of several hundred attendees.

GOP Unity Tour

By: Megan Schrader July 10, 2016

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner threw his support behind Darryl Glenn on Saturday up and down the Front Range as the two Republicans stumped for each other in what was billed as a “unity tour.”

“Darryl Glenn understands what it takes to grow this economy. He understands what it takes to share the values of limited government, free market opportunities and how to truly make this country a better place,” Gardner said at a stop in the Denver Technology Center, where the GOP headquarters are. “He also understands as a veteran, someone who stood up on the front line of freedom for this country, that you don’t make our enemies weaker by being weak ourselves. That you don’t turn around and empower the greatest state sponsor of terror, Iran, by supporting President Obama’s nuclear deal.”

Glenn has an uphill battle if he hopes to follow in Gardner’s footsteps and unseat an incumbent Democratic senator in Colorado.

Gardner did it in 2014, defeating former Sen. Mark Udall.

Glenn hopes to unseat Sen. Michael Bennet in November.

“I got in on March 1, 2014, and between March 1 and November, we were able to raise $12 million,” Gardner said. “That’s an incredible amount of money, but that race cost over $100 million. This race is going to take that same kind of outpouring of support from people across the state and around the country.”

He and GOP chairman Steve House asked a room full of supporters to open their wallets and donate what they could to help Glenn.

Glenn focused on the volunteer efforts that his campaign relied on heavily to get through a tough primary that at one point had more than a dozen candidates in the race.

“From a power-lifting standpoint, our theme is ‘just one more,’ and when you’re tired, when you don’t think you can make one more phone call, when you’re thinking that you can’t walk to another place, just do one thing more,” Glenn said, who is an NCAA power-lifting champion.

Glenn was also flanked along the way by his former competitors Jack Graham and Ryan Frazier.

Frazier applauded Glenn’s work ethic and his authenticity, while Graham focused on the contrast between Glenn and Bennet.

Robert Blaha was absent, but House hinted Blaha was on an important mission. Later, Patrick Davis, state director for Trump’s Colorado campaign, confirmed that Blaha will be a co-chairman of the Trump campaign. Blaha is the first to be announced.

“Robert Blaha has been for the last six or eight months doing battle on these very issues that Donald Trump has been doing battle on,” Davis said. “He’s very qualified to be a leader in this campaign in Colorado.”

Jon Keyser was also absent from the unity tour but was out of town as part of his active-duty reserves status.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams also spoke in support of Glenn talking about their time working together in El Paso County.

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn attended the stop in Colorado Springs on Saturday.

GOP’s New Ground Game

By Lynn Bartels The Denver Post

POSTED: 11/09/2014 12:01:00 AM MST

Colorado Republicans, stung by years of bitter infighting, turned their muscle on Democrats instead of one another this election, stealthily creeping through blue-collar and crucial counties, and racking up one vote after another.

Superstitious after years of heartbreak, they searched for a location for their election night party where they had never lost before.

The cheers Tuesday night at the Denver Tech Center Hyatt Regency ballroom nearly drowned out Congressman Cory Gardner after he climbed the stage to claim the distinction of being the first Coloradan in 36 years to defeat an incumbent U.S. senator.

Democrat Mark Udall had seemed too serious, too stiff during a campaign where half his ads at one point mentioned abortion, birth control or rape. But Udall’s concession speech was so heartfelt, so authentic it moved Colorado Republican Party spokesman Owen Loftus.

“We’re lucky that guy didn’t show up on the campaign trail,” Loftus said.

Because many of the early returns involved GOP ballots, the initial tally showed voters kicking out Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, too, and going for Republican Bob Beauprez — but the governor prevailed.

Hickenlooper won by 3.1 percentage points, Gardner by 2.1 percentage points, according to the latest ballot tallies. That’s a far different narrative than initial reports showing Gardner with a resounding lead and the governor winning in a squeaker.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora cruised to a 9-point victory in a seat earlier crowned the most competitive congressional district in the country.

Democrats retained control of the state House, although the GOP defeated three incumbents.

Republicans now have a one-seat majority in the state Senate after a decade of Democratic control.

“The untold story is Colorado didn’t get swept away in a GOP wave,” said Rick Palacio, chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party, pointing to what happened in other states.

The Denver Post interviewed more than two dozen people and sifted through voting data and turnout models to try to piece together how the election went down. Republican turnout exploded in two critical GOP counties, El Paso and Douglas. Udall underperformed in some traditional Democratic strongholds, such as Pueblo and Adams counties, which Hickenlooper carried.

Blame and praise were assigned and deflected, but on this both sides agreed:

Colorado Republicans blindsided Democrats. And Hickenlooper’s quirky personality and Gardner’s sunny nature appealed to voters.

Fight Club

Gardner’s campaign manager, Chris Hansen, checked his buzzing cellphone. It was Oct. 10, and the campaign was at a local watering hole celebrating its surprise endorsement from The Denver Post’s editorial page and the national attention it received.

“It’s a reporter. He wants to talk about the ground game,” Hansen said, putting the phone down. “We never talk about the ground game.”

Even Gardner would echo that talking point, telling U.S. News & World Report last month, “What happens in Fight Club stays in Fight Club.”

Part of it, Hansen said, was the campaign wanted to brag about Gardner, not the behind-the-scenes efforts. Democrats touted their numbers — field offices, staffers, volunteers, doors knocked on — but seemed unaware that massive voter-contact efforts were quietly underway by Republicans across Colorado and the country.

A computer whiz who grew up in Greeley had helped President Obama’s campaign win re-election with complex targeting and data. The Republican National Committee, caught by surprise, in response changed in a major way how it used data and technology to turn out voters. Among the Republicans targeted this year: those who voted in the presidential election in 2012 but not in the mid-term election in 2010.

“It was the Obama model in that volunteers were going back and having conversations with the same people again and again,” Coffman’s campaign manager, Tyler Sandberg, said. “Democrats have produced a great ground game for many, many years, but I think they were so used to running against a nonexistent Republican ground game that they took it for granted.”

The 6th Congressional District that Coffman has represented since 2009 used to lean hard right, but following the 2010 Census, the boundaries were redrawn, and he found himself in a competitive district that covers portions of Arapahoe and Adams counties and a smidge of Douglas County.

Two years ago, a relatively unknown state lawmaker nearly unseated Coffman, who then began a slow glide to the middle on some issues. This election, the congressman faced a Democratic powerhouse, the popular former speaker of the House, Andrew Romanoff, who had declined to run in 2012.

Democrats were counting on their ground game, which had produced a spectacular victory in 2010 for Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who beat Republican Ken Buck by 1.7 percentage points in another wave GOP year.

Less than 24 hours before Election Day, Udall’s campaign manager, Adam Dunstone, checked and rechecked his math. The polling hadn’t been great for Udall, but polls in 2010 also showed Bennet losing.

Supporters had knocked on more than 250,000 doors in the previous three days and planned to hit another 160,000 on Election Day alone, he said. And these folks weren’t going into Colorado neighborhoods at random. The nerve center inside Udall campaign headquarters was a small room where about a dozen staff members stared at computer screens. Their job was to oversee the invasion. If Udall wasn’t getting enough support in Jefferson County, for example, they would know it — and in response send teams of volunteers to rustle up votes.

Because of the importance of the mission, and the fact they knew the voting “score” as it came in, the campaign was forced to put a sign on the door to keep away curious volunteers. “Do Not Enter. Please e-mail or chat your point of contact in this room,” read the entry to the inner sanctum.

This faith in the science of campaigning — from Dunstone on down — was the security blanket that kept Udall’s people from losing hope in the final days.

This reliance on math was one reason why, despite broad criticism, Udall focused on issues of personhood and contraception throughout the campaign: It moved the numbers, Dunstone said.

A week before the election, former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb sounded an alarm: Unless Democrats stepped up their game in the waning days, they were in danger of suffering huge losses.

“There was no passion among our base,” Webb said. “Contrary to some of the neophytes in the party, I know how to read a map and I know how to read numbers. And the numbers were coming in low from some of our traditionally heavy precincts.”

Final-minute, ballot-chasing efforts helped stave off a total disaster. Despite the wave, the state House stayed Democrat, the state Senate was lost by only one seat and Hickenlooper avoided the distinction of being the first elected Colorado governor since 1962 to be canned by voters.


“I’ve got to compliment the Republicans,” Webb said. “They did a better job than us on the ground. We normally excel in our ground game.”

Magic potion

Adams County long has been considered a reliable Democratic stronghold, even though its Reagan Democrats tend to side with Republicans on Second Amendment and other issues. Rep. Kevin Priola of Henderson, who upset the Democrat candidate in 2008 by 432 votes, is the lone Adams County Republican in the legislature, but he’ll have company next year.

Republicans won an open Senate seat that gave them the majority for the next two years, and they defeated an incumbent House member.

“I think Democrats took Adams County for granted,” said Erik Hansen, a Republican elected to his second term on the county commission. “They didn’t put in any resources in it, and we recruited better candidates than we have in the past.”

Hansen also pointed out that Adams County is growing, the demographics have shifted and foreclosures hit the area hard after the recession. “There’s still a lot of angst,” he said.

Coffman clobbered Romanoff in Adams County and won that part of his district by 11 percentage points. Udall led Gardner by 3,660 votes in unofficial returns; four years ago, Bennet beat Buck by 8,155 votes. “We worked Adams hard,” said Hansen, Gardner’s campaign manager.

Hansen said Republicans also turned to Pueblo County. A year ago, voters in the heavily Democratic county ousted Democratic state Sen. Angela Giron from her Pueblo seat after she supported tougher gun bills, and they chose a Republican to replace her.

“That told us that Pueblo had decided that the Denver-Boulder kind of ‘latte liberals’ had left them. They’re a different kind of Democrats in Pueblo. They’re gun-loving, church-going, union Democrats,” Hansen said.

Udall unofficially beat Gardner by only 389 votes in Pueblo County. In 2010, Bennet beat Buck by 10,875 votes.

“Maybe a dose of humility for Colorado Democrats isn’t a bad thing,” said Stu Rothenberg of the nonpartisan national Rothenberg Political Report.

Read the full article here:

GOP Majority in State Senate

DENVER – Four days after the election, the results are finally in from Adams County. The balance of power tipped to Republicans in the State Senate, while Colorado Democrats held onto power in the House.

“We infused a bucket of red into a state government that had been almost purely blue,” said Daniel Cole, Executive Director of the El Paso County Republican Party.  “That means any bill that lands on the Governor’s desk is going to have to pass through a Republican chamber.”

Colorado Republicans are in charge of the Senate for the first time in a decade. The race that tipped the balance of power to Republicans was in Senate District 24 in Adams County.

Republican Beth Humenik beat Democrat Judy Solano by 876 votes, giving the GOP an 18-17 majority.

“It’s never easy to lose, but I think we can look back and be very, very proud,” said Senate Majority Leader Rollie Heath (D-Boulder).

“Unfortunately, for us, we fell just one seat short,” said Senate President Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora).

On Saturday, Senate Democrats vowed to work together.

“We expect that we will be working together with all of our colleagues to solve any problems we can with Colorado,” said Carroll.

However, Majority Leader Rollie Heath said Democrats won’t back down on key issues like healthcare and women’s rights.

“We’re certainly going to make sure that are voice is heard,” he said.

“The Republican Senate Caucus is eager to move Colorado forward on so many important issues and away from the extraordinary divisiveness of recent years,” Senate Republican Leader Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs) said in a statement.

The shift of power in Colorado’s senate has fundamentally changed, with Democrats holding on to power in the State House.

“For the first time in a decade Republicans are going to have a real voice in the state legislature,” said Cole.

The Senate Republican and Democrat caucuses will meet at the Capitol next weekend to pick leaders. Cadman is expected to become the new Senate president.

The votes are still unofficial; the Secretary of State has until November 21st to certify the results.

Read the full article here:

Kit Roupe Wins in HD17

By Jakob Rodgers
The Gazette
Published: November 5, 2014

An upset appeared to be brewing Tuesday night in the race for House District 17, with Republican Kit Roupe mounting a strong bid to unseat first-term Democrat Thomas “Tony” Exum Sr.

Roupe led Exum, a former Colorado Springs firefighter, by a margin of 48 percent to 44 percent with 13,021 ballots counted at 9:30 p.m. – a lead that, if it held overnight, would signal a key victory for the GOP.

“The credit is due to Kit herself and our team of volunteers, who have knocked on doors relentlessly,” said Daniel Cole, executive director of the El Paso County Republican Party. “We especially targeted low-propensity Republican voters and unaffiliated voters.”

Surrounded Tuesday night by fellow El Paso County Republicans, Roupe struck a conciliatory tone that belied a confidence the results would hold.

“I thank him (Exum) for his graciousness,” Roupe said. “He brings a lot to the table.”

Meanwhile, Exum had yet to concede shortly before the latest results at 
9:30 p.m. were revealed. An hour earlier, with the margin still at 4 percentage points, he lamented the difficulty of keeping the seat in a midterm election. He placed part of the blame for his poor showing on less-than-stellar voter turnout.

“The sad part about it is that people can’t take 
15 minutes to fill out a ballot . ” Exum said.

Standing in the back of the El Paso County Democratic Party’s election reception Tuesday, Exum noted several bills that he passed in his two years in the House, including grant money to improve firefighter safety by helping small fire departments purchase equipment and get training, as well as a breakfast program for schoolchildren, and tax credits for child care expenses.

He later took a standing ovation from dozens of El Paso County Democrats as his political future remained uncertain.

“I have no regrets,” Exum said.

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Election Night Party

Headquarters is devoting 99.9% of our energies to winning, but we need to look ahead for a brief moment. Join us for our election night party November 4 at the stellar Stargazers Theatre. Admission is free. Doors open at 6:30 PM. Food (pulled pork sandwiches, chicken teriyaki, bratwursts, nachos) and drinks (beer, wine, cocktails, soda, coffee, tea) will be available for purchase. No outside food or drink. Please RSVP to [email protected] You are welcome without an RSVP, but we’re trying to get a head count. And more importantly, in the meantime, please volunteer to get out the vote. Contact Lee Hopper at [email protected] or simply swing by Republican Headquarters.