Colorado Lincoln Club members celebrate the season

Colorado Lincoln Club members spread the cheer at their holiday party on Dec. 11 at the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association’s well-known venue — and at the same time raked in some green for their red candidates for 2014. The live and silent auctions, combined with ticket sales, donations to participate in the preference polls, and of course the bar proceeds, raised about $5,000 on this festive night, and will be divided among the century-old Club’s small donor and political committees. It was the Club’s second holiday party which now has begun a tradition in the years that preceed an election. Club President Mary Dambman said that member John Zakhem — a real elf who always helps out the Club — was responsible for bringing in so many newbies. About 100 people partook in all the Republican revelry — so many that they had to make an extra ice run for all the beverages that were served that night.

Before we chat about the fun auction items that were up for bid, we’ll get down to the real politics of the evening with the announcement of the preference poll results. Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz placed first for president; for next year’s U.S. Senate race, state Rep. Amy Stephens narrowly edged out 2010 nominee Ken Buck; and in the race for governor, Secretary of State Scott Gessler, well known in the Denver GOP community, edged out former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo for top place.

Bob Beauprez, auctioneer for the Lincoln Club of Colorado’s holiday party on Dec. 11, displays a piece of Colorado political history — one of the recall signs from the recent ouster of Democratic Senate President John Morse of Colo. Springs. Barbara Piper of Douglas County was the lucky bidder of this memorabilia.

As for the auction itself, U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez showed off his ability to talk fast as he presided over the action. Centennial Institute President John Andrews donated two tickets to the 2014 Western Conservative Summit, which were nabbed by Bob Larkin and his wife Rene.

Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, offers bidders the chance to have lunch with him.

Lunch with state Rep. Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff went for a high of $350, purchased by John Zakhem. Beauprez himself was the successful bidder for lunch with new Sen. George Rivera of Pueblo.

Perhaps the luckiest bidder that night was Club Prez Dambman herself. She ended up purchasing lunch with Independence Institute President Jon Caldara for $200. Dambman said she’s considering inviting two lady friends from the Lincoln Club to join her and Caldara, maybe at the McDonalds near Caldara’s office. On second thought, Dambman said she has a gift certificate for Randolph’s Restaurant at the nearby Warwick Hotel, so they’ll probably dine there and make it a real party.

As for the “Vote Yes, Recall Morse” sign that was up for grabs, Dambman acknowledged having confiscated a couple of them and giving one to the Colorado Federation of Republican Women for their recent convention, and the other to her Lincoln Club’s auction.


Geoff Blue of the Lincoln Club, gubernatorial candidate Greg Brophy, Republican legislator from Wray, and State Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Adams County, don their happy faces at the party.
Colorado GOP State Chairman Ryan Call, right, introduces his wife Brittany to former Republican state chairman Don Bain..



Sporting a colorful antler tiara and patriotic holiday outfit, Lincoln Club of Colorado President Mary Dambman is a real “deer” at this party.
Board member Bob Larkin and wife Rene at the auction, where Bob put up a stiff but unsuccessful fight against fellow board member Chris Murray for two passes to the Western Conservative Summit next summer.


Lincoln Club board member Celeste Gamache brings out a tray of shrimp for guests to enjoy.
Photos by John Schoenwalter/
The Colorado Statesman

See the Dec. 13 print edition for full photo coverage.