Thursday, September 6, 2007
Steamboat Springs With election season just around the corner, the Routt County Republicans are hoping to distance themselves from the national political climate and improve their fortunes from a year ago.
"Generally, I think the party didn't do well in the last election as a reaction to Iraq," Routt County Republican Central Committee Chairman Vance Halvorson said, after a meeting of the county party Wednesday. "Hopefully we aren't behind that cloud in the next election. The last election was influenced by national politics. Going forward, we don't know if we'll see that."
State Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, discussed potential Republican candidates for future state House and Senate seats at Wednesday's meeting. Taylor said state Rep. Al White, R-Winter Park, is "giving serious consideration" to running for the seat Taylor will vacate in 2008. After first being elected in 2000, White has won the past three campaigns for House District 57, which includes all or part of Routt, Moffat, Grand, Garfield, Rio Blanco and Jackson counties.
lican candidates to run for the 2008 state House seat, which will be open next year when White is term-limited, have not yet been identified, Taylor said.
Halvorson said he hopes a local steps up.
"I would love to see a Routt County Republican take a stab at it," Halvorson said.
Also discussed at Wednesday's meeting were upcoming events the party will attend or sponsor. First up is a clay-shooting contest and fried chicken lunch sponsored by Muhammad Ali Hasan of Eagle County. The Routt Shootout is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 15 at Three Quarter Circle Sporting Clays. The cost is $10, but children 12 and younger may attend for free if accompanied by a paying adult. The event will benefit the party's student scholarship fund.
Hasan said he is sponsoring fundraisers for Republicans in various counties because he is disillusioned with the state and national parties and believes county parties use their funds more wisely.
"I want to do everything I can to empower the county party," Hasan said. "I see this as an opportunity to get a grassroots campaign going."
The party also agreed to allow candidates for the Steamboat Springs City Council to speak at the party's next meeting, during the first week of October, and saw a presentation by Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak on a recently approved ballot question to fund county road projects.