…and Ryan Call Enters


As Dick Wadhams bows out – hopefully to pursue managing a winning Senate or even Presidential campaign – outgoing Denver County Chairman Ryan Call enters the race.  Ryan will be touting Denver’s success in the last elections, its return to relevance after a brief hiatus, and experience gained from being the legal counsel for the state party over the last few years.

I will point out that Ryan is a friend of mine, and that we worked closely together in the 2009-2010 election cycle, when he was Denver Chairman and I was one of the Vice Chairmen, as well as our candidate in HD-6.  I saw how hard Ryan worked to make this election cycle a good one for Denver’s Republicans, and to leave us with a basis to build on.

Probably the most important point for me is that in my own discussions with Ryan, I’ve come to believe that we share a basic conception of what the party chairman’s job is.  I’ve elaborated on that before, so I won’t go over it again, and Ryan’s more than capable of making the case for himself.   But I will mention that his emphasis on politics as a “team sport,” and the need to build coalitions around ideas and issues is something I place a lot of stock in:

It’s no small challenge to be a principled Republican in Denver, but that experience has taught me that while we may not always agree on everything, politics is a team sport….

One of the strengths of our Party is that we are all a group of principled and independent-minded individuals.  That sometimes makes it a challenge to build consensus and agreement, but I believe we need a broad and welcoming Party in order to win elections and govern effectively – the stakes are just too high for us to be divided.  Although there is room within our Party for certain disagreements on specific matters of legislative policy, we share certain common values about what is right and wrong, and a commitment to those core Republican principles of limited government, personal responsibility, and freedom and opportunity that unite us as Colorado Republicans.

The only way that can happen is if the chairman isn’t perceived as being a part of one faction or another, and I think Ryan’s managed that well here in Denver.  I know of both Tea Party members and old-timers who were impressed with the way he handled the job. The party’s vote totals – with some percentages the highest they’ve been since the early 90s – should be read as a broadening of the coalition here in town.

Now, some of Ryan’s hard work can be seen in a different light, and when I put the question to him, he responded that he knew that he’d have to delegate responsibility at the state level in a way that he didn’t at the county level.  Certainly, he’ll have resources and institutional memory to draw on at state that Denver just didn’t have available.

The circumstances facing the state party are substantially different from those facing Denver: the new chairman will be expected to deliver victories, not merely let the party compete in a dignified manner.  A chairman can only deliver those victories with recruiting and building a staff he can rely on, and it would certainly be reasonable to ask how he intends to go about building and leading that staff, not only serving on it.

Of course, these would be fair questions for any of the candidates.  There are two other prominent candidates for state chair right now, State Senator Ted Harvey and Larimer County Chairman Larry Carillo. Being State Chairman is fundamentally different from being an office-holder, and state is much bigger than Larimer County.

Between now and the State Central Committee meeting in March, there will hopefully be a number of candidate forums.  I understand that R Block Party will be hosting two, details below, at which all three candidates are confirmed.  I don’t think readers here need any urging from me to show up and ask questions.

R Block Party Candidate Forums

R Block Party North
February 21
O’Meara Ford
…6:30 Mingle, 7:00 Start
Applebee’s afterwards

R Block Party South
February 24
Bemis Library
6:30 Mingle, 7:00 Start
Merle’s afterwards

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