On Sunday April 23rd the Cheyenne County Republicans held their annual Lincoln Day Dinner at the Cheyenne Wells Town Complex where more than 50 people attended. Phil Knudsen, owner of Phil’s Grill along with the help of his wife Debbie, prepared delicious smoked pork tenderloin. Sides and salads were generously brought in by members of the Cheyenne County Republicans.
The event, which was sponsored by Colorado Senator Rod Pelton, a Cheyenne County native, was a fundraiser for a new scholarship that the Cheyenne County Republicans have created which will begin to be awarded in 2024 to seniors in Cheyenne County.
Greg Martin, President of the Cheyenne County Republicans stated, “We want to give a scholarship to a senior from Cheyenne County that is not based on academics, but however based on citizenship. The scholarship will also be available to not only those who are planning on attending college or trade school but also to an individual who will open a business in Cheyenne County right out of high school.”
Anyone who will graduate from one of the public schools in Cheyenne County, as well as those who are homeschooled, will be eligible to receive the scholarship.
A large table of donated goods was set out for a silent auction. Donations were gathered from businesses in Cheyenne County as well as from individuals of the County Republican Party. There were around 20 or more pork tenderloins left over from the meal, so never missing an opportunity to make a little more money for the scholarships, those were each individually wrapped and auctioned off, as well.
Speakers at the event were scheduled to be State Representative Rod Bockenfeld, Senator Rod Pelton, and newly elected Colorado GOP Chairman Dave Williams. Though Representative Bockenfeld was unable to attend due to a personal issue, Pelton and Williams made up for his absence by speaking in detail about what Republican legislatures are up against in Denver as well as what we can begin to expect from the Colorado GOP under the new leadership of Williams.
Pelton outlined the “small victories” that were attained last week in Denver as the assault weapons ban died in committee. However, Pelton explained, “It will be back, they never stop.”
Pelton went on to say, “There are two weeks left in this legislative session and as of last week there are still 282 bills that still need to be heard with another 12 or 15 that have not even been introduced.” A bleak but honest Pelton described, “I can honestly say, Colorado is in a worse place now than when we began this session, the Democrats are running this state off a cliff in a hurry.”
Though the battle that Pelton and other Republican legislatures face in both the Senate and the House is uphill, and the hours fighting for rural Colorado are many, Pelton fought back tears to tell his constituents and neighbors, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your Colorado Senator, it has been the greatest honor of my life.”
Greg Martin then introduced Dave Williams to the floor where the crowd eagerly waited to hear what the new man in charge had to say.
Williams served three terms in the Colorado House of Representatives from 2017 until this past January, representing District 15 which encompasses much of El Paso County. In June, he lost to Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) in the primary race for Colorado’s 5th Congressional District. Recently however, on March 11th Williams defeated six other candidates for Colorado GOP Chairman, after delivering a speech in which he promised to be a “wartime” leader for the Colorado GOP.
Williams began his speech by saying, “Getting Colorado back will not be an easy fight, this will be a 2-3 election cycle process to get back to par. We have to look at small victories and I believe the Democrats are in for a heck of a surprise.”
Since taking over leadership just more than one month ago Williams has learned that the Colorado GOP has not been well organized in his opinion, and monthly expenses were around $40-$60 thousand, much of that money going to overhead and salaries. “We are putting a stop to that. We want to make sure that anyone who donates to our party is donating to the candidates and not paying our salaries.”
“We have to make sure that our house is clean, so that we can then do what we have promised the people we will do.”
Moving forward Williams said that the Colorado GOP is going “back to the basics.”
“We are going to look at the voter registrations and advance our principals in the marketplace.”
Williams also talked about how it is time that all Republicans stop apologizing for their values.
“We are proud of our values and principals; we should not try to be more like the Democrats to win votes. Our causes matter, and they withstand the test of time. We can win and it is time that we fight the Democrats, we fight the corruption, and the deceit as a united Republican Party. We do not have to like each other but each of us should be about the Mission.”
If you are so inclined to get involved in your local Republican Party, you can find the contact information for your county chairperson at, https://www.cologop.org/counties/. If you would like to donate to the Cheyenne County Republican Scholarship, please contact Chairman Greg Martin 719.342.5803.