Moving Chairs: Local Political Parties Ready for New Leadership

February 2011

Until very recently, Dick Wadhams, the man who calls the shots for the state GOP, was sure he could breeze through another election to maintain his position as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. But on Tuesday, Wadhams announced he will not seek a third term, giving no indication what his next move might be, writes the Denver Post, and expressing frustration with "the nuts who have no grasp of what the state party's role is."

The move surprised some, although reports at the end of 2010 indicated a Tea-Party-like movement was growing to oust Wadhams. Gunning to take his place are state Senator Ted Harvey, a social conservative, and former Denver County GOP chair Ryan Call, the party's legal counsel, who officially announced his candidacy Tuesday afternoon. "If Harvey thinks he has the votes now to be elected, he is delusional," Wadhams tells the Post. The election is scheduled for March 26.

"I'm excited about doing something new this election cycle," Wadhams tells Fox 31, "and, frankly, I just got tired of the people who see a conspiracy behind everything we do." He also spoke with Westword editor Patricia Calhoun, saying the conspiracy theories and "incessant carping" are not just annoying to him, but they also make it nearly impossible to provide leadership for the GOP. In a letter to the party's Central Committee, Wadhams warns, "The ability of Colorado Republicans to win and retain the votes of hundreds of thousands of unaffiliated swing voters in 2012 will be severely undermined."

Meanwhile, Denver County has a new Republican chairman: businessman Danny Stroud, who will serve for at least the next two years. Stroud succeeds Call in a county dominated by Democrats, notes the Post. And Dan Gould, a retired internal auditor and retirement planner for the State Colleges of Colorado system, is the new Democratic Party chair in Boulder County, which is 46 percent Democrat and 22 percent Republican, notes Longmont's Daily Times-Call.