The Delta County Republican Party held their Lincoln Day Dinner in Hotchkiss at Memorial Hall on Saturday August 20th. The event was sold-out with over 200 energized Republican supporters and friends attending. There was so much interest in attending the event that people were turned away. The original venue for the site was supposed to be at the Pavilion at Zack’s Barbeque in Hotchkiss. However, the monsoon rains picked up during the week and we had to make a call on Wednesday on whether to chance a Saturday forecast of 70% chance of rain and thunderstorms for the event. We played it conservatively and opted for moving the event to Memorial Hall. Turns out the Weather Service was mostly wrong on the forecast, again, but it turned out just fine holding the event at Memorial Hall.
The event was catered by Zack’s Barbeque of Hotchkiss. We dined on barbequed brisket of beef and chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, cowboy-style beans and dinner rolls. The food was excellent and the crew from Zack’s did a wonderful job serving 214 people buffet-style.
We made an effort to involve young people in our Lincoln-Day Dinner this year. We invited students from Delta High School and Cedaredge High School as well as royalty from the Delta County Fair Rodeo and the North Fork High School Future Farmers of America. The students were sponsored by members of the DCRCC. Besides being able to listen to the program and share dinner, the Rodeo royalty assisted with check-in and the FFA assisted with serving and clean-up. A collection was taken to help the FFA with their fund-raising and over $700 was presented to their school sponsor, Lyndsey Todd. We had nearly 20 students attend the event.
The purpose of the Lincoln Day Dinner is to bring Delta County Republicans together to celebrate Republican values and to raise money to promote those values and candidates in the upcoming campaign and beyond. Why do we call this event the Lincoln Day Dinner? Most of us know it is named after Abraham Lincoln – the 16th president of the United States and the first Republican elected as president. Lincoln served as president through the Civil War and preserved our Union of States. It is for this achievement that he is mostly recognized. The Civil War was fought over states’ rights – mostly the right to have legalized human slavery. Lincoln ended slavery in the south during the war and the institution was abolished in all of the country through the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which was passed by the Republican-led Congress on January 31, 1865 and finally ratified on December 6, 1865. However, Lincoln was not the first Republican candidate to run for president. Do you know who that was? It was John Charles Fremont in 1856. Fremont is well known as an explorer but he was also a senator from California and the head of the California Republican Party. Fremont lost the1856 election to James Buchanan of the Democrat Party, when Millard Filmore ran as a third-party candidate for the Whig party. Interestingly, Abraham Lincoln won the election of 1860 with 32% of the popular vote, when the Democrat Party ran two candidates, which split their vote allowing Abraham Lincoln to win the election. There is a trend here with third-party candidates. I discussed this in my last blog on July 17, 2022. I mentioned six examples where third- party candidates caused the opposition party to win the election. Third-party candidates NEVER win and ALWAYS allow the opposition party to win. We need to keep this in mind in this election and ONLY vote for our Republican candidates.
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert was the featured speaker at the event and gave the strongly supportive audience an overview of what her first term has been like. The Congresswoman spoke of legislation she has sponsored and has passed in Congress. That legislation includes:
$470 million for treating government introduced invasive species – salt cedar and Russian-olive trees that are consuming considerable water and worsening the effects of the drought.
She led the successful effort to keep the western headquarters of Bureau of Land Management and 36 good-paying jobs in Grand Junction to give rural Coloradans a voice in land-use decisions and save taxpayers millions of dollars.
She helped defeat the misguided proposal put forth by Renewable Water Resources to steal seven billion gallons of water per year and dry up 22,667 irrigated acres in perpetuity in the San Luis Valley and pipe the water to the Denver suburbs.
$48 million for the U.S. Forest Service to address the bark beetle infestations ravaging Colorado and to actively manage our forests.
When I-70 was shut down for 16.5 days following a catastrophic mudslide, she led Colorado’s bipartisan congressional delegation in securing more than $11.6 million dollars to reopen and repair I-70.
She helped Delta Health Community Hospital secure Sole Community Hospital Provider Status. This designation will help stabilize drug prices, allow Delta Health to remain independent, and secure more healthcare infrastructure for the community.
She secured $1 million through legislation signed into law for the Wolf Livestock Loss Demonstration Program to compensate farmers and ranchers whose livestock are killed by wolves reintroduced by government programs.
In addition, the Congresswoman spoke of the problems created by the Democrats pushing omnibus and suspension spending bills. Spending bills are no longer introduced as individual pieces of legislation but are lumped together and passed by consent which does not allow for discussion, debate and amendments on the house floor. This is not the process the founders intended. Congresswoman Boebert pointed out the dangers of having one party dominate both houses of Congress and the Presidency. As usual, it was a rousing presentation and well received by the sold-out audience. The Congresswoman also arrived early to sign copies of her autobiography, My American Life. The Delta County Republican Central Committee purchased 50 copies and made them available for purchase and signed by the Congresswoman and take their picture. We sold all 50 copies at the event.
The additional speakers at the event were:
Representative Matt Soper - Matt is the current representative for House District 54, which consists of Mesa County, except the City of Grand Junction, and the western 2/3 of Delta County. Matt is running for his third term. Matt is from Delta and is well-known in Delta County due to his long involvement with Delta County Republicans.
Representative Marc Catlin - Marc is the incumbent representative for HD58. Marc is from Montrose. When Redistricting was completed this past year, the eastern third of Delta County was added to HD58. This was a fantastic improvement for those of us in the North Fork. This is our opportunity to be represented by a local Republican instead of a Breckenridge Democrat. Marc is running for his third term.
Representative Janice Rich - Janice is from Grand Junction and is the current representative for HD 55 – the City of Grand Junction. The current senator for SD 7 is Ray Scott -, who is term-limited. Janice has decided to run for SD7. Once again, Redistricting changed the District boundaries here in Delta County. Instead of being all in SD5, the Cedaredge and Orchard City areas were put into SD 7, which also includes all of Mesa County. Again, this is another great opportunity for our County. Instead of being represented by a Democrat from Vail, this is an opportunity for Cedaredge and Orchard City to be represented by a local Republican running for State Senate in District 7. Janice has appeared numerous times at our Delta HQ to meet Delta County voters.
Mathew Bremen, mayor pro-tem of Fruita, spoke for Heidi Ganahl, candidate for governor. Heidi is a mom, wife, businesswoman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. She also currently serves as the only statewide elected Republican in Colorado as the at-large member of the CU Board of Regents. Heidi has come to several events here in Delta County – a Meet & Greet at our Delta Headquarters and at the Delta County Fair.
County Commissioner Don Suppes spoke for Joe O’Dea, our candidate for U.S. Senate. O’Dea is the CEO of a Colorado construction company. Adopted at birth and raised by a Denver police officer and a loving mother, Joe became a union carpenter at a young age. Joe went to Colorado State University to study construction management, but dropped out to run a construction company he started in his basement. That construction company has built billions in large-scale construction projects all around the state of Colorado. That construction company, now 30-years old, employs more than 300 Coloradans. Joe O’Dea has appeared at our Delta HQ to meet Delta County voters.
Derek Van Why spoke for Pam Anderson, candidate for Secretary of State. He also spoke for Lang Sias, candidate for Colorado State Treasurer. Pam Anderson was a two-term County Clerk in Jefferson County, she has been very active in the Colorado Republican Party, including serving as a PCP in the Jefferson County Republican Committee, run elections at the Colorado Republican State Assembly and served as Director of the Colorado County Clerks Association. Lang Sias is a former Navy and Air National Guard fighter pilot as well as a Top-gun flight instructor, attorney and Colorado State Representative for Colorado House District 27 Representative, 2015-2019. Both Pam Anderson and Lang Sias have also appeared at our Delta HQ .
All in all, it was an excellent opportunity to meet Republican candidates running for office in the upcoming November election. All these candidates need our support and they are worth supporting.
We held an auction with 14 items being auctioned off by long-time Crawford auctioneer John Cunningham. John did an outstanding job for us and we cleared over $3,700 in the auction. Candidates Heidi Ganahl, Matt Soper and Marc Catlin all donated items for the auction that helped contribute to its success. The big item though was a 9mm Glock pistol, that the DCRCC purchased and has an engraved signature on the barrel by Congresswoman Lauren Boebert. It brought in nearly $1,000 (not including the purchase price). We appreciate all the donated items and thank everyone who donated as well as those who bought items at the auction!
Near the end of the program, we recognized all the individuals who helped at the Delta County Headquarters and at all the events we sponsored so far this year. Starting with the Chairwoman of our Outreach Committee – Donna Deleff and her right-hand helper, Shirley Bauer. Under their leadership, an incredible group has staffed our Delta Headquarters and organized the many events we participated in that helped raise the funds that we are using to help our candidates in the upcoming election. Those individuals are Debby Barnhardt, Cathy Brown, Cathy Cheatham, Curt Grinnell, Louise Fierro, Helen Fox, Elaine Hall, Lee Lange, Lon & Peggy Kugler, Angie Many, Gayle Montelin, John Owen, Harry Pierce, Judy Shaff, Penny Sutton and Sue Whittlesey. These individuals deserve our thanks for all their efforts!
Finally, I want to recognize the volunteers who did so much to put on our Lincoln Day Dinner. Our Chair is Sue Whittlesey. Our committee members are Shirly Baur, Donna Deleff, Brittany Deleff and Cathy Cheatham and myself. Other individuals who pitched in to help – Sheldon Ware, Tracy Cheatham, Tom Howe, Pastor John Owen and Pastor John Copper. And in a bit of parental pride, I want to thank my daughter, Chelsea Combs, for singing the National Anthem. Thank you all for your hard work and the great job!
The lone negative was a single rude protestor who showed up to criticize and try to embarrass Congresswoman Lauren Boebert with a sign. She tried to enter the building, then tried to protest on the steps of the building, then ended up standing on the public sidewalk in front of the building after the County Sheriff and the Hotchkiss Police officers informed her, she could not enter the private property of Memorial Hall to “protest” and had to remain on public property. The officers handled it very well and most of the attendees ignored her. While our Constitution and the 1st Amendment protects our freedom of speech it is curious how so many people seem to believe that protesting means they must be rude and obnoxious.
The evening was a great success. We had a very good time, we got to socialize with each other, meet some of our great candidates and raise a considerable sum of money for supporting our candidates in this upcoming election. We’ll be making a full report on the Lincoln Day Dinner at the September 6, 2022 DCRCC monthly meeting. We’ll also be discussing how we will be actively supporting our candidates in the upcoming November election. Hope to see you there. Thanks to all who attended!
David Bradford Delta County Republican Central Committee Chairman
PS – Remember we are still selling Raffle tickets for our Scholarship program. We’ll be selling them at the September meeting and they are available at the Delta HQ. Help support our Scholarship Program by buying a ticket and take a chance on winning the Mantis Shooting Training System or $500 cash. This is another of our Youth Outreach efforts. db