Boulder GOP circles wagons at county assembly

The Colorado Statesman

Just minutes after deciding to run for House District 12, Republican Charles “Russ” Lyman brought the crowd to its feet during the district breakout session at the Boulder County GOP Assembly on Saturday in Longmont.

Lyman started off his impromptu speech describing how he became president of his local homeowner’s association.

He showed up at a meeting one day upset, he said, because “I didn’t like the way things were working, I wanted things to change, and before I knew it, I was president.”

State Sen. Kevin Lundberg, Tom Janich, and Eric Weissmann, the three GOP candidates for CD 2, await their turn to deliver campaign speeches to Boulder County Republicans on March 24 in Longmont. Photos by Ben Conarck/The Colorado Statesman
Photo by Ben Conarck/The Colorado Statesman

“Well,” he added, “I’m upset again.”

It was not long before the crowd was chanting “Russ! Russ! Russ!” as Lyman delivered lines denouncing the ways of Washington and the state Capitol.

Lyman later told The Colorado Statesman that he decided to run because he didn’t like the idea of a vacancy committee nominating a candidate for the district. He felt the candidate should be someone “from the neighborhood.”

“It was a somewhat naive, reckless decision,” Lyman said. “But sometimes life changes that quickly.”

House District 12 includes Louisville, Lafayette and parts of Longmont. Democrats Mike Foote of Lafayette and Angie Layton of Louisville are competing for their party’s nomination.

Republican candidate David Pigott greets assembly-goers from his campaign table at the Boulder County GOP assembly on March 24 in Longmont.
Photo by Ben Conarck/The Colorado Statesman

Earlier in the day, Boulder County Republican chairman Joel Champion said the reason to run candidates where Democrats hold a strong advantage in registered voters, as they do in HD 12, is to drain the funds of the opposition.

Boulder County as a whole is similar to HD 12 in active voter registration statistics.

According to the latest numbers from the Secretary of State’s office, Democrats hold a two-to-one advantage in active voter registration in Boulder County, with one third of voters registered as unaffiliated. HD 12 is slightly more favorable to Republicans.

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez — who spoke on behalf of presidential candidate Mitt Romney — embraced a “David vs. Goliath” mindset, describing Romney as a politician who has fought battles “right in the belly of the beast — in Massachusetts — which is much like trying to be a conservative Republican here in Boulder County.”

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez touts the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney at the Boulder County Republican assembly on March 24 in Longmont.
Photo by Ben Conarck/The Colorado Statesman

David Pigott, the GOP candidate for House District 33, called Boulder County Republicans “warriors” in his speech and emphasized the district’s importance keeping the majority in the state House, where Republicans hold a single-vote margin.

“Our ability to protect Colorado from the Democrats’ liberal agenda hinges on this seat,” Pigott said.

Pigott is facing former state Rep. Dianne Primavera of Broomfield for the seat, which includes Broomfield as well as parts of Erie and Superior.

Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, a candidate for the 2nd Congressional District, spent the majority of his speech outlining the policy differences between himself and the incumbent, U.S. Rep Jared Polis, D-Boulder.
Lundberg also pointed out that the district added Larimer County and parts of Jefferson County after borders were redrawn in December.

“About half of the district is brand new, and we’ve been electing Republicans from those areas,” Lundberg said.

Boulder businessman Eric Weissmann, another candidate the 2nd CD seat, said that he is running for Congress for the next generation of Americans.

“You should have the promise of a freer and more prosperous future, don’t let us be the first generation to break that American promise,” Weissmann said.

U.S. Rep Cory Gardner speaks to the crowd at the Boulder County assembly about his campaign for a second term in a district that now includes a portion of the county.
Photo by Ben Conarck/The Colorado Statesman

Tom Janich, the third GOP candidate for the 2nd CD, warned the crowd about impending “federal bankruptcy.” He said his first action if elected would be to return the power to print money solely to Congress.

“Inflation, and what it does to devalue the dollar, makes taxes look meek,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, described Boulder County as absolutely critical to the Republican effort to “take the country back,” a common refrain throughout the day at the confab.

“They say the road to the White House comes through Colorado,” Gardner told the enthusiastic crowd. He said the President will have to get past Boulder County’s fired-up Republicans in his bid for reelection.

Boulder County Republicans nominated Dr. Ellyn Hilliard to run for House District 11, Adam Ochs for House District 13, Charles Plagainos for Senate District 17, and Maureen Denig for County Commissioner District 1.

McKayne Boedeker, who grew up in Berthoud and now attends the University of Colorado at Boulder, said he is more focused on local elections than the presidential primary at the moment. He anticipates the primary will eventually lead to a contested convention.

Boedeker said that he supports Weissmann over Lundberg because he feels Weissmann is “a lot more hard-hitting on economic issues.”

Longmont resident Vincent Murphy said he is endorsing Romney in the presidential primary because he knows that Romney, a fellow Mormon, has good values.

Murphy believes Romney’s Mormon faith is less of an issue in this election because people are more familiar with Romney and trust him more.

Murphy said he attends county assemblies to “see the process in action” and to have the opportunity to meet the local candidates in person.

—Ben@coloradostatesman.com