6:00am

Tue February 26, 2013
Politics

Colorado Party Leaders Up for Reelection

Two years ago incoming state Republican Party chair Ryan Call inherited a divided and divisive party. Now he’s up for reelection this weekend and little has changed for the GOP in between.

Ryan Call was elected in March of 2011. Back then he said the GOP needed to do a better job of reaching out to Latinos and unaffiliated voters around the state as well as to divided members of their own party.

KUNC's Brian Larson talks with Colorado Statesman Publisher Jody Hope Strogoff about Ryan Call's first term and his bid for reelection as state party chairman.

Interview Highlights:

On Call’s record during his first term…

“If you look at the record of wins and losses – not well. The primary race which was for president the Republicans as we know lost. Mitt Romney also failed to carry Colorado which was one of the real hopes of the state Republican Party. They also lost control of the state house. This follows 2010 when they lost the Governor’s seat and an open U.S. Senate seat so the trend hasn’t been looking for Republicans and it certainly wasn’t bolstered this past election.”

On whether Call should be blamed for the losses…

“Ryan Call is the chairman, he does take responsibility but interestingly he has recently unveiled a complete new package he says which fundamentally changes the way the Colorado Republican Party engages with voters. I think even he understands that it was not a successful term and that he needs to change the way the party goes if he wants to serve a second term.”

On the challenger Call faces in this weekend’s voting…

“His name is Doug Baisley. He’s a Douglas Republican chairman and he’s been active in the party. He doesn’t disagree majorly with Ryan Call, in fact it’s been a very civil race but he does point out that he’s got a business background and he thinks the way that he engages with people is different from Ryan Call does and he thinks they need a more business oriented state chairman to run the party. He also mentions that Douglas County did well this year in terms of its elections and he thinks that he can carry that to the state level.”

Colorado Democrats are also holding elections this weekend for their party chair. However, Rick Palicio is running unopposed for his seat.