by Craig Masters
The question of just how to add to, and eventually replace, the aging voter base of the republican party in Colorado was the focus of much of the discussion at a meeting hosted by the Longmont Republican Women’s group Sunday evening. According to the flier distributed by the LRW, the special event entitled “New Year, New GOP” was sponsored by three groups: Longmont Republican Women, The Well Outreach and Worship Center, and the Longmont 9-12 Tea Party.
Two of the four featured speakers were established major figures among Colorado conservatives, current Chairman of the Colorado GOP, Ryan Call, and former U.S. and Colorado Congressman, Tom Tancredo. The two other speakers represented new organizations trying to reach demographic voter blocks not typically supporting republican candidates, blacks and hispanics.
Derrick Wilburn is the founder of several conservative organizations which focus on the mission of educating elected republicans at all levels of government about the importance of increasing support within the black community. Wilburn explains that black community residents recognize the candidates they have elected too often have betrayed the community more often than serving the interests of the residents. But he believes republicans have been conditioned to focus their election efforts in other communities; simply writing off the black voters as a lost cause. To illustrate his point, he presented a short video of on-the-street interviews filmed in south Chicago in which it is clear that the only candidates these people are ever meeting are those from the democrat side of the aisle.
Attending ethnic community functions and meeting the people in their neighborhoods is the same message that Solomon Martinez echoed as he spoke on behalf of his organization, Northern Colorado Hispanic Republicans. Martinez reports that some sixty-thousand Hispanic youth turn 18 every month. He believes that most of these young people are conservative by nature and live their lives focused on the pursuit of their ‘American dream’, yet very few have ever met a republican.
Chairman Call announced that this spring the Colorado Republican Party will open regional offices throughout Colorado. There will be full-time staff available working to build an organization to counter the established machine of the democrats. Historically the republican party campaigns for a few months prior to an election while the opposition never quits campaigning. He pointed out that even after his second term victory, Obama still has campaign offices and continues to raise campaign funds through fundraiser events and appearances.
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