Routt GOP blasts Holtzman

Republican party calls on candidate to withdraw

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— The Routt County Republican party issued a resolution Monday calling on Republican Marc Holtzman to withdraw his candidacy for governor, saying Holtzman "makes a mockery" of the political system and "casts discredit upon the very party he seeks to represent in a primary election."

"We feel like it's a situation that requires a strong statement," party Chair Jennifer Schubert-Akin said of the resolution. "We wanted to send a message to his campaign. He's pretty much thumbed his nose at the procedures that are in place. He's acting in his own self-interest and in doing so is hurting the interest of his party."

Holtzman denied those allegations Monday.

"I understand that there are some people who may not support my candidacy, but that is why primaries are important," Holtzman said. "Primaries are healthy for the party. This is not a dictatorship, where people are lacking in choice. What I'm doing, I believe, will have a positive impact on my party."

The resolution comes after a Friday ruling by Denver District Judge Michael Mullins, who ordered Secretary of State Gigi Dennis to put Holtzman on the Aug. 8 primary ballot in the race for governor. Dennis ruled Holtzman ineligible for the ballot earlier this month, determining that he did not submit the required 1,500 valid signatures from each of Colorado's seven congressional districts.

Holtzman's campaign challenged that ruling, saying more than 4,000 signatures were improperly rejected. Review of the signatures is pending.

Holtzman was forced to petition onto the ballot after he failed to receive 30 percent of the votes from delegates at the state Republican assembly in May. State party chair Bob Martinez and numerous Republican legislators have asked Holtzman to withdraw his candidacy to avoid a primary against U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, who received 72 percent of delegate votes at the state assembly.

Schubert-Akin said the county party's central committee decided at its meeting Wednesday to draft the resolution. Active local Republican Bob Fry wrote the resolution, which Schubert-Akin submitted to committee members for an e-mail vote.

"(The committee) no longer feels bound to consider candidate Marc Holtzman to be an electable or credible representative of Republican values and ideals," the resolution states. "Furthermore, this body calls upon the former Republican candidate, Marc Holtzman, to cease and desist from using the Republican name to legitimize his candidacy or his platform."

The resolution passed with a 10-2 vote finalized Sunday night, Schubert-Akin said. While the committee has 38 members, meaning 26 people did not vote, Schubert-Akin said she has "no doubt" about the sentiment of the entire committee.

Holtzman said he has not received a similar letter or resolution from any other county Republican party.

"I look forward to working with all the members of the Routt County Republican leadership in the general election to win this campaign against Bill Ritter," Holtzman said, referring to the sole Democratic nominee, a former Denver District Attorney.

"I have no doubt that my message is resonating well with voters," Holtzman said. "We are fighting on."

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