|Second Biggest Ever Larimer County Republican Assembly
Not since 1976, according to those who have attended these assemblies for over 30 years, have so many people gathered in the Larimer
County Republican Assembly to nominate candidates for local and state ballots. Willard Walker, a longtime Republican activist and Loveland
resident, said the truth is in 1976 Republican Assembly which he attended "people were divided between President Ford and candidate
Ronald Reagan." He concluded that the standing room only crowd of mostly unified delegates last Saturday is a harbinger of things to come in
the next elections.
Six local incumbents for the offices of County Assessor, County Treasurer, County Clerk, County Surveyor, County Coroner and County
Commissioner for District 1 were nominated by acclimation to run as the party's candidate without any challenge coming from the floor. Only
the Sheriff's race seemed to divide the crowd while other national and state office seekers like Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck
certainly got a boost over his absent rival former Colorado Lt. Governor Jane Norton.
Norton, whose father passed away a week earlier, sent a letter that was read by a representative of her campaign. The letter thanked the
delegates for their many years of working for the Republican Party (missing the fact most were new to party politics) and made Norton's
anti-abortion theme the central point of why conservative Republicans should support her campaign. The letter which would have been more
appropriate in 1993, was not well received by the large audience that sat mostly quiet while some yelled out "don't care" and "why couldn't
Most other candidates for national office addressed the recently passed health care legislation by Congress. Cory Gardner, candidate for
Congress in the 4th Congressional District, said Washington has not been listening to their constituents. Colorado State Attorney General
John Suthers spoke to the recently passed national health care legislation. Those who challenged its constitutionality, like Suthers, were
rewarded with thunderous applause and standing ovations from the enthusiastic crowd. Suthers explained why he joined other state attorney
generals in challenging the legislation by saying it is unconstitutional. He told the crowd, "Never before has Congress compelled
Americans, under the threat of economic sanction, to purchase a particular product or service as a condition of living in this
Lew Gaiter - Off to Running Start
Lew Gaiter, appointed to the Larimer County Commission just last year, was nominated by the county commissioner whose resignation
opened the seat for his appointment, Kathay Rennels. Joined on the stage by 7 of his 9 children and a diversity of moderate to conservative
Republicans meant the opportunity for a challenge from the floor by another candidate would have been political suicide.
Like a number of other candidates, Gaiter received a standing ovation from the audience.
Sheriff Race Divides Assembly And Will Be Decided In August Primary
Retiring Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden nominated his subordinate, Major Justin Smith, to be the Republican nominee for Larimer
County Sheriff in 2010. Smith, however, has been challenged as the heir apparent by 912 activist and former fighter pilot Carl Bruning.
Bruning, whose campaign slogan is he will be the "constitutional Sheriff" was nominated on a stage filled with many Tea Party activists.
Bruning has promised concealed carry permit holders in Larimer County that their names will not be sent to the State of Colorado data base
on criminals and permit holders if he is elected Sheriff. His opponent, Smith, said the Sheriff has no choice but to send the names to the state.
One controversy following Bruning has been his reluctance to detail his work history for the past 15 years. He reports having served as a
"Vice President" of industry in the private sector but hasn't been specific about what company and when. When one delegate confronted him
with the question he responded they were "various companies." Smith is running on his career in law enforcement and is quick to point to his
opponent's lack of law enforcement credentials. One public official endorsing Smith said, "Its like me deciding to go into the military and
wanting to start as a general."
Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden took a poke at Bruning during his nomination of Justin Smith by saying about Smith, "We know where
he has been the past 18 years....." in a sarcastic tone. Joined in the nomination of Smith were Larimer County Commissioner Tom Donnelly
and other locally elected officials. Nonetheless, Carl Bruning has solid backers who filled the ballrooms with stick signs displaying his picture
handing out his brochures.
Smith received 65% of the Assembly's votes while Bruning received 35%. Both were happy with the results as each only needed to garner
30% of the votes to have their name placed on the ballot for the August primary election.
John Kefalas could face former Ft. Collins Mayor Ray Martinez in House District 52
Later when the Assembly broke into smaller meetings to determine Republican nominees for State House Districts, a controversy arose when
no one was nominated to challenge incumbent Democrat John Kefalas of Ft. Collins for House District 52. Two younger attendees did finally
offer to run but much of the crowd began chanting for former Ft. Collins Mayor Ray Martinez to run. Martinez took the podium and said he
needed more time to consider running for the office. As a result, the Republican nominee for House District 52 was postponed until a later
date so the delegates could get an answer from Martinez.
Nominated By The
County Clerk Recorder
Dr. Patrick Allen
Justin Smith &
Loveland - April 3, 2010
If anyone doubts the impact the 'Tea
Party' or 912 Project have had on
local politics they should have attended
the Larimer County Republican
Assembly of Republican Caucus
delegates last Saturday. Over 1,000
people crammed the three joined
ballrooms of the Ft. Collins Hilton
Hotel (formerly the Holiday Inn) with
750 elected as delegates to the
Assembly from their precinct caucuses.