Dozens of Republican elected officials, candidates and party officers are holding a rival fundraiser next month in Colorado Springs on the same night that the El Paso County Republican Party holds its annual citywide dinner.
The dueling nights are the latest demonstration of the widening rift between the county’s GOP leadership and the party’s old guard, which swept through the county primaries last month by overwhelming margins but was fed up with what he called the “establishment,” noting that their fellow party members had taken over the local GOP apparatus. for years.
Organizers said both fundraisers, scheduled for the night of August 13, are expected to sell a lot and bring in a lot of money for Republicans, but that’s where the similarities end.
The Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, the party’s largest fundraising event, is scheduled to take place inside a ballroom at the downtown Antlers Hotel. The evening features a keynote address from the state’s most prominent elected Republican, U.S. Representative Lauren Poubert, who represents the western slope of Colorado and parts of southern Colorado and won a second term in the primaries last month, defeating a moderate state Republican by a wide majority. edge.
The invitation suggests guests dress up in “cocktail party” attire to the party, which features silent and lively auctions and begins with a VIP reception at 4:30 p.m., and donors can choose between grilled salmon fillet and grilled steak with sliced wild mushrooms. Grilled vegetable tart with tomato sauce and fresh basil. Tickets start at $120 and go up to $2,500 for a table of 10 with VIP status.
Described as a gathering of “serious Republicans” — some of whom say they can’t count on support from the local county party ahead of the fall election — the fundraiser this week announced that it counts among its hosts nearly every county elected Republican, including the eight-year-old congressman terms representing the district, four state representatives, three county commissioners and five county-level officials, according to an invitation to the event obtained by Colorado Politics. Top legislative leaders, officials from surrounding counties and three congressional candidates from areas of the Denver area will also be on hand.
The competing fundraiser is set to take place in a spacious backyard behind a golf course, with a beach party theme in a nod toward the election wave Republicans are anticipating in this year’s midterm elections. A local restaurant is donating what organizers describe as “heavy hors d’oeuvres,” and guests will be welcomed to enjoy a well-stocked bar, including fine wines and specialty beach drinks. Organizers said ticket prices for the less formal event have not been finalized, but should come in at about half the price of the county party dinner. The festivities don’t start until 7pm, giving donors who want to attend both parties the opportunity.
The Republican president of El Paso County is not happy that the Republican Party’s first annual parade shares the calendar with the competition.
“It’s sad that this group has an event on the same day as the annual fundraiser by the local party for decades,” Vicki Tonkins told Colorado Politics in an email.
“Our date had been on the calendar for some time, but they chose to be divisive, and once again they boycotted the only official Lincoln Day Republican Dinner in El Paso County. These are the individuals who caused the divisiveness as they could have chosen another date for the event. Really sad that I see this from people who call themselves leaders.”
“Real leaders are good followers….that is not the case with these people,” Tonkins added.
Offering an alternative event to donors is a different approach than what some prominent local Republicans took a year ago when they boycotted the Lincoln Day Dinner Party of the county party and the party’s main speaker, U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Green, the divisive Georgian legislator who was stripped of the House committee. last year in a bipartisan vote after racist and anti-Semitic remarks surfaced earlier.
The lead organizer of the backyard fundraiser said there was nothing accidental in the schedule.
“A lot of our elected officials were very excited about the prospects for the upcoming election, and they wanted to put their efforts into supporting the Republican candidates,” Eli Bremer, former chair of the El Paso County Republican Party, told Colorado Politics. . “We want to have an event, and we want the money to go toward the Republican wave elections in Colorado.”
Bremer, who was unsuccessful in this year’s US Senate nomination, said the money raised at the event would support “Colorado’s competitive races on the federal side” via a political entity it is in the process of forming.
Republican congressional candidates Eric Adland, Barb Kirkmier and Steve Monahan — contenders for the seventh, eighth and sixth congressional districts, respectively, will attend.
Bremer said that GOP candidates are also expected to appear statewide, although campaigns contacted by Colorado Politics said it was too early to confirm attendance at an event about a month later.
Among the elected officials who signed on to the party’s host committee membership at Bremer’s home was US Representative Doug Lamborne. State Assembly Minority Leader Hugh McCain; State Senators Paul Linden, Bob Gardner, Larry Liston, and Dennis Hessie; Representatives Mary Bradfield, Andy Biko, Tim Geithner and Colin Larson; El Paso County Commissioners Cammy Bremmer, Stan Vanderwerf, Holly Williams; Attorney General Michael Allen; Sheriff Bill Elder; County Clerk Chuck Brorman; Coroner County Leon Kelly; County Resident Steve Schleicher; Regent Ken Muntra of the University of Colorado and Colorado Springs City Council member Wayne Williams, a former Secretary of State and a candidate in next year’s mayoral election.
Organizers said they invited Boebert to stop at the party while she was in the area but somehow didn’t hear from her. Her campaign did not respond to an inquiry about its plans from Colorado Politics.
The call also lists legislative nominees Shanna Black, Ken Degrave, Rose Pugliese, Don Wilson, and county mayoral candidate Joe Royal. The others on the committee are Fremont County Commissioner Kevin Grantham. Teller County Commissioners Dan Williams, Eric Stone, and Bob Campbell; Mayor of the commercial city, Bin Hussein. former MP Louis Landgrave; Carl Schneider, El Paso County Republican Vice President; Seventh CD Republican Chairman Gregory Carlson; and a large number of municipal officials from Monument and Woodland Park.
Lincoln Party Dinner Parties have been a major attraction over the decades, with keynote speakers in recent years including former presidential candidate and current Utah Senator Mitt Romney, Republican strategist Karl Rove, South Dakota Senator John Thune, and Ohio Representative Jim Jordan and conservative activist Charlie Kirk.
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