State Senator Ted Harvey would have embraced Tea Party activists had he been elected chairman of Colorado’s Republican Party, but he lost his bid to youthful Ryan Call, the party’s legal counsel, over the weekend (Denver Post). Call, who says the GOP should do more to reach out to unaffiliated voters and Latinos, will usher in the post-Dick Wadhams era, as the party is divided over how to win more seats in 2012, a presidential election year. The state GOP kicked off the big weekend with a dinner and keynote by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, the nation’s first Latina head of state (Denver Post).
Harvey and another candidate for the job, Matt Arnold of Clear the Bench Colorado, are surprised Call won so decisively. “There are a lot of very deep, underlying divisions in the party,” Arnold said before the vote, “and it’s troubling—we’re kind of at a point where we’re battling for the soul of the Republican Party” (Colorado Statesman). The divisions split those who want to expand the party by encouraging the more conservative, Tea Party base and those who want to bring in more moderate voters.