Republican Breakfast Club’s welcomes Nathan Chambers, John Andrews, Debbie Brown and Dick Wadhams.
BY BOB SWEENEY
A capacity crowd of jubilant Republicans braved subzero temperatures last week to attend the year’s first Wednesday monthly meeting of the Arapahoe County Republican Breakfast Club at Maggiano’s, chaired by incumbent President Myron Spainier.
The 100-plus members and guests dined on scrambled eggs and abundant rhetoric from a panel of election professionals.
The panel included Dick Wadhams, most recently campaign manager for Jack Graham, second-place primary casualty behind convention nominee Darryl Glenn for the U.S. Senate. The race was ultimately won by Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet by a slim four-point margin for his second elective term.
Debbie Brown is a rising GOP star, political strategist and a gas and oil industry spokesperson.
John Andrews is a veteran political pundit, an author, a Colorado Christian University leader and was once a candidate for governor against Roy Romer.
The panel was moderated by attorney and past county chair Nathan Chambers.
The topic was “The Future of the Republican Party.”
Key points for many were disappointment in the Arapahoe and Jefferson county election results, with Hillary Clinton winning both counties, along with the overall state vote. Also, the defeat of Glenn for the “winnable” Senate seat.
More misery was outlined with the question: “How conservative can you be and still win?”
A bright spot for Republicans in the two counties was the surprising election of Heidi Ganahl to the CU Board of Regents, winning both counties with a 56,000 plurality and 56 to 49 margin, while the Trump vote margin was in the 34 percent range.
Pet-store entrepreneur Ganahl had waged a small-budget campaign and is a swing GOP vote on the CU Board. She attracted a large number of unaffiliated voters.
Wadhams pointed out that Colorado has only elected two Republican governors in the past 40 years—those being John Love in 1972 and Bill Owens in 1998. He stressed the importance of having a Republican in the powerful governor’s office.
Debbie Brown, who chairs the Colorado Women’s Alliance, spoke about the “pantsuit nation” of women who supported Hillary Clinton—a group who number 3.5 million and who march and preach civil discord. The group is planning a huge Washington march on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, and other sites around the nation, including Denver. She questioned, how do we handle these women?
Andrews asked the group, “Why are we Republicans?”
He answered his own question by relating that the GOP are the foremost defenders of liberty, and according to Andrews, “the keepers of the flame and guardians of the republic.”
He read portions of 10 core values that he believes best outline the Republican Party, past and present. First, liberty. Second, defending civil society. Third, economic freedom. Fourth, defending constitutional government. Fifth, consent of the governed. Sixth, defending individual rights. Seven, federalism versus centralization. Eight, defending peace through strength. Ninth, recognizing America’s basic goodness. Tenth, a nation under God.
These are summaries, but basically outline Andrews’ view of the Republican Party.
It was also said that candidates tend to define the political party and that political parties advance political ideology.
Wadhams said the party’s history of elected statewide winners were likeable men, such as Hank Brown, Bill Armstrong and Cory Gardner.
He said those candidates had “credible solutions to issues.”
Wadhams related that the statewide race for governor has already started and named Ken Salazar as a possible Democratic nominee.
Republican contenders could include Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and District Attorney George Brauchler, among others.
In conclusion, the panel felt that the future rests in President-elect Donald Trump’s hands, in his success or failure going forward, that the party will be saddled with his political destiny.
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