The past two Saturdays we have had Republican candidates come to Delta County. On Saturday, June 18, 2022, a small group from Cedaredge hosted Colorado House District (HD) 57 Representative Perry Will for a Meet and Greet in the Cedaredge Town Park. House District 54 Representative Matt Soper and HD 55 Representative Janice Rich attended the event in support of Representative Will. I also attended the event. While Delta County is not within the boundaries of HD 57 (currently Garfield, Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties) or the new redrawn boundaries from redistricting (Garfield County, Pitkin County and part of Eagle County), there is a concern that Representative Will needs support to get re-elected. The new configuration has 13,285 (23%) Republican registered voters, 16,356 (28%) Democrat registered voters and 26,968 (47%) Unaffiliated voters. Whereas the “old” configuration had 16,453 (35%) Republican registered voters, 9,453 (20%) Democrat registered voters and 21,079 (45%) Unaffiliated voters. While the increase in Democrat voters in the new HD57 is not overwhelming it does make it more challenging for Representative Will to get re-elected. But why should Delta County voters care if Perry Will gets re-elected to HD57? Because he shares our values and we need to keep representatives in the State House who share the same values we have. That’s why Representative Soper and Representative Rich showed up to support Representative Will at Saturday’s Meet & Greet. This is a race that we can help the Republican candidate to win.
Perry Will is not a typical state representative. You can tell that by just looking at his photograph. He has a large mustache, wears a cowboy hat and boots as well as other western accoutrements. He reminds you of someone from the 19th century. And that image actually reflects the man. Rep. Will comes from a farming and ranching family in Southeast Colorado. He is a retired Colorado Game Warden, having spent 43 years working for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. He brings a knowledge of wildlife, natural resources, farming/ranching and rural communities to a governmental entity dominated by urbanites. Rep. Will serves on the Agriculture, Livestock & Water and Energy & Environment Committees in the Legislature. He is now the Ranking member of the Energy and Environment committee. Will was appointed to the HD 57 seat following incumbent Bob Rankin’s appointment to Senate District 8. A Republican vacancy committee met and chose Will from a field of four candidates, including Rankin's wife Joyce. Representative Will was elected in the 2020 General election defeating Democrat Colin Wilhelm 63 to 37%. Representative Will has been able to sponsor and get a number of bills passed in the Legislature, in spite of the huge disadvantage that Republican legislators face. House Republicans are outnumbered by the Democrats 41-24 in the State House and 20-15 in the State Senate. It was very obvious on Saturday that Representative Will, Representative Soper and Representative Rich have close working relationships. It struck me how important it is to get people like Perry Will elected to represent Western Slope interests in the Colorado State Legislature.
I want to add a personal note. I first met Perry Will in 1992, when I was working for the Forest Service in Rifle. Perry and I went out horseback into the Battlements, southwest of Rifle. There is no better way to get to know a person than riding for hours through the woods, talking and sharing ideas and stories. It became very apparent to me that Perry Will was a game warden who cared about wildlife and the people who lived with those wild animals. He had as strong a concern for private landowners who lived with Colorado’s wildlife as I had ever seen in a government wildlife officer. I thought to myself, at the time, “This guy is a good one.” I believe Perry Will is still a good one and deserves the support to be re-elected to HD 57!
Rep. Will does not have a primary challenger. He will be facing one of the two Democrats who are battling it out for the Democrat nomination. Those two candidates are Cole Buerger and Elizabeth Velasco, both of Glenwood Springs. According to the records filed with Colorado Secretary of States’ TRACER, $125,224 has been raised so far in this race and $83,838 has been spent by the three candidates. TRACER also shows that Democrat Cole Buerger has $19,397 currently in his campaign fund. Democrat Elizabeth Velasco has $16,324. And Representative Perry Will has $18,537. It is obvious the Representative Will could use additional financial support. According to Rep. Wills website, the maximum an individual may contribute to an individual candidate is $400. A couple may contribute $800 from a joint account. A political committee may contribute up to $200 for the primary election and $200 for the general election. A small donor committee may contribute up to $2625 a year. Again, I believe this is a Republican candidate we can help to win his election. And the more Republicans we get elected in November the more effective our representatives will be in representing us in the legislature. So, if you can help, please consider doing so.
To contribute to Perry Will’s campaign by mail, please send a personal check, made payable to “Perry Will for HD 57”, to:
Perry Will for House District 57
3400 County Road 312
New Castle, CO 81647
Or go on-line to www.voteperrywill.com
Then on Saturday, June 25, 2022, Lang Sias came to Delta and spent an hour or so talking to a group of us at DCRCC Headquarters. It was a great opportunity to meet our Republican candidate for State Treasurer. He came across as a very strong candidate. He is retired military – Navy. He was an actual Topgun instructor at Miramar Air Station before they moved the Navy Fighter Weapons School to Fallon Nevada in 1996. He served as State Representative for HD 27 (Jefferson County), from 2015-2019. He ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2019, with Walker Stapleton running for Governor. He has been working as a pilot for Fed Ex since he left office in 2019. All of us were impressed with Candidate Sias’ knowledge of the issues facing state government and the job of the State Treasurer. There was much discussion on PERA – the state government’s Public Employee’s Retirement Association. Like Representative Perry Will, Lang Sias is not being opposed in Tuesday’s Primary election. But it was good to see and hear from this candidate. I believe we will be able to easily support him for the office of State Treasurer in the November General Election. He promised to return to Delta County, later in this campaign season. I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to meet and hear from Lang Sias.
These examples seemed like a good time to discuss the different campaign finance requirements that we are all required to abide by. This information will be useful as we move into the season and we discuss how to financially support the different Republican candidates, both as the Delta County Republican Central Committee and individually. The following summary was prepared by Sue Whittlesey (Thank you, Sue!):
Political parties cannot accept contributions intended for a specific candidate.
Purely social groups organized within a political party that do not participate in the formal nomination process are not considered part of the political party for campaign finance reporting purposes.
Contributions to political parties from limited liability companies (LLCs) are subject to additional restrictions and reporting requirements.
Donation limits for individuals:
Governor, Sec of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer - $625 primary/general ($1250 total)
State Senate, State House, State Board of Education, CU Regent, District Attorney - $200 primary/general ($400 total)
County Candidates - $1,250 primary/general ($2500 total)
If the maximum contribution is given before the primary, and the candidate is unsuccessful, that candidate is expected to return half the contribution to the donor since that candidate will not be participating in the general election.
I look forward to seeing you all at the next monthly meeting of the DCRCC. Financial support for Republican candidates will be one of the subjects we’ll be discussing at the meeting. We will be at the Surface Creek Church in Austin on Tuesday July 5, 2022. The meeting starts at 6:00 pm. Make sure you vote in the June 28 Primary, and we’ll see you at our meeting!
Delta County Republican Central Committee Chairman
PS – Also don’t forget Cherry Days in Paonia next weekend, July 2 - 4. The DCRCC will be staffing a booth at the Paonia Town Park on all three days, from 11 am. The parade will be on Monday July 4th, starting at 10 am. Please consider coming to help staff the booth and/or ride on the DCRCC float in the Parade. This was a great experience for the DCRCC last year. Call Donna Deleff at 970-209-1539 to schedule a time to help. Thanks! db