It is a common practice to look back on the past year and review what happened, what worked and what didn’t and what needs to happen in the upcoming year. So let’s look back and review what happened with the Delta County Republicans in 2021.
The first major change for the Delta County Republican Central Committee (DCRCC) in 2021 was the election of new officers at the February Organization meeting. I was elected as Chairman, Roger Bentley became the Vice-Chairman, Brittany Deleff was elected as Secretary and Ginni Selby was re-elected as Treasurer. This change brought two new people into the Executive Committee. Speaking for myself, this change was pretty impactful, as I have found that the Chairmanship is more demanding than I expected. I hope I have been up to the challenge.
Financially, we have made progress. We began 2021 with $1,800 in our checking account; on December 31, 2021 we had $14,383 in the account. In our Communications, we have significantly improved our website and we are using it to provide information on our activities, scheduling, and political matters. We are getting over 400 site visits a month and we published over 20 different Blogs on various political issues last year. We have over 400 people signed up to receive our emails. In our Youth Outreach program, we awarded two $2,500 scholarships to two different high school graduates with 5 students attending our meetings and competing for the scholarships. Our Elections Integrity efforts focused on understanding and identifying likely attack points in our election system, here in Delta County. We reviewed the results of the 2020 election, had presentations from our County Elections Clerk, reviewed the Voter rolls and helped certify the 2021 Election. Our Events Committee sponsored three luncheons, one for Matt Soper and two for political candidates for the 2022 election, participated in parades and/or booths throughout the County and held a Lincoln Day Dinner in September with Lauren Boebert as the featured speaker. We established an Outreach Committee that is staffing a storefront office in downtown Delta to promote GOP positions, candidates and recruitment of Republican voters. Our Outreach is currently staffing HQ, as we call it, 3 days a week – Friday, Saturday and Monday. We have started a Percs & Politics program on Saturday morning bringing in Candidates for the various offices – having had Janice Rich running for the new Senate District 7 and Eli Bremmer and Gino Campano Senate candidates for Michael Bennet’s seat. We have brought in over $5,000 from donations for merchandize at HQ, since it opened in September. We sponsored the first candidate forum for the School Board election this past November. And while we were able to get one conservative candidate elected, we lost the second race because we had two Republican-registered candidates and one conservative Unaffiliated candidate running against a liberal registered-Democrat candidate. Our Bylaws prevented us as an organization from supporting only one of the conservative candidates. This is the major reason I initiated a review and update of our current Bylaws. Overall, we have had a good year and we are looking at emphasizing the following areas in 2022.
We hope to continue to increase our finances, so that we can use these funds to promote our candidates and issues in the 2022 election. We’ll continue to use our website to advertise and inform our members of our activities, candidates and issues. Our Raffle and Scholarship Committees have two-$1,500 scholarships available for the 2022 graduates and are planning a 6-month long raffle to hopefully return to 2-$2,500 scholarships for 2023. Our Elections Integrity Committee will continue to evaluate and monitor potential threats to our elections – we are looking for candidates to serve as poll watchers and we will assist in getting training. Our Outreach Committee will continue to staff the DCRCC HQ. We already have two more candidates scheduled to be at HQ: 1) Peter Yu – the third of 7 candidates running for the Republican nomination against Michael Bennett and 2) Greg Lopez – making his third visit to Delta, one of 10 candidates running for the Republican nomination to run against incumbent Jared Polis. While this may be an “off-year” or non-presidential election there are many individual races. At the Federal level, there is one Senate seat (Bennet’s) and all eight Congressional seats, including our CD3. At the State level, there are 8 races that we will be voting on (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, SD7, HD54 and HD58). And we have 7 County races, one Commissioner seat (Mike Lane), County Assessor, County Clerk, County Sheriff, County Treasurer, County Coroner and County Surveyor. Six of the Republican candidates for Delta County offices announced their candidacies at our January 11, 2022 meeting. It’s going to be a busy year. That’s a total of 17 individual races in 2022, not counting whatever issues are also put on the ballot, at the state and county level. We are going to try to provide information and opportunities for Republican voters to get to know these candidates and understand the issues.
The accomplishments listed above were not made by one, two or three people. Firstly, our elected officials are managing Delta County with Republican principles. The DCRCC is working to keep Republicans in our County elective offices. The Executive Committee provides the overall direction, and our Precinct Committee People (PCPs) are making decisions for the Central Committee and helping to implement those decisions. But our Committee Chairs – Sue Whittlesey on Bylaws, Bee Stoermer and now Brittany Deleff administering our website, Curt Grinnel on Election Integrity, Betty Oglesby on Events, Kevin Rusling on Raffle and Scholarship Committees and Donna Deleff on Outreach made our on-the-ground activities happen. They did not do this alone. We have a fantastic group of volunteers who have helped all the committee chairs to get things done. I want to list the names of volunteers who helped in 2021. A BIG shout-out to Lee Lange, Peggy Kugler, Judith Schaff, Gail & Jon Montelin, Debby Barnhardt, Louise Fierro, Helen Fox, Cathy Brown, Scharee Atkinson, Cheryl Robinson, Tom Howe and Angie Many. These are the folks who step up and help the DCRCC accomplish our goals and get little recognition for their help. I want to say, “Good job and thank you all for all that you have done for the DCRCC!”
Obviously, when you list individual people for recognition you risk missing somebody. I want to apologize ahead of time, if I have left somebody out. The DCRCC is a team and all our team members are important.
Our first important task in electing Republican candidates begins with the upcoming County Caucuses and County Assembly. The precinct caucuses are scheduled for Tuesday March 1, 2022. We are planning to hold the caucuses in four locations this year. We have applied to hold the Delta area Precinct caucuses at the Delta Middle School. These are Precincts 1-7. The Cedaredge area caucuses will be at Cedaredge Middle School. These are Precincts 8-14. The Hotchkiss area caucuses will be at Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss. These are Precincts 15, 16 & 17. The Paonia area caucuses will be at Paonia Elementary School (This is the former Paonia High School). These are Precincts 18, 19 & 20. We have applied to use these facilities and we should be approved. The caucuses will be held in the evening, from 7:00 pm to approximately 9:00 pm.
An important note on Caucus participation. If you are not currently registered as a Republican in the Precinct in which you live, you must register 22 days before the Caucuses in order to participate. That means you need to be registered by February 7, 2022. Contact Rene Loy Maas, Elections Clerk at the Delta County Courthouse, to register or if you have a question about your registration.
The County Assembly is scheduled for Saturday March 19, 2022. We have applied to use the DCPA and we should be approved. The Assembly will begin at 10:00 am with credentialing (Sign-in) scheduled to begin at 8:00 am. We will be coming out with more information on both the Caucuses and the Assembly. Keep checking the website for more information and updates.
Delta County Republican Central Committee Chairman