Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Charles Ashby latest Statehouse press corps casualty

The Pueblo Chieftain's Charles Ashby on Tuesday became the latest Colorado Capitol reporter to be laid off.

Ashby was the de facto dean of the Statehouse press corps and a member of the Colorado Capitol Press Association Executive Board. He had covered Colorado politics and government for several years with the Chieftain and the Durango Herald.

He was laid off on Tuesday morning prior to President Barack Obama's inaugural address.

Ashby was better-sourced and was more well-known in state government than perhaps any other Statehouse reporter. He broke several major stories last year alone, including a explosive statement from Republican presidential nominee John McCain that he wanted to renegotiate the 1922 Colorado River Compact.

Ashby is only the latest Colorado political reporter to be laid off. Since the 2008 general election, reporters at the Colorado Independent and PolitickerCO.com have also been laid off. The Rocky Mountain News is also in danger of closing its doors altogether.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Chambers, Gholston in running for state GOP vice-chair

While Dick Wadhams seems assured to be re-elected Colorado Republican Party chair during party elections next month, the election for vice-chair appears to be competitive.

Republican activist Leondray Gholston and Arapahoe County GOP Chair Nathan Chambers are both seeking to be elected vice-chair, according to state GOP general counsel Ryan Call.

Chambers, a Denver attorney, is well-known among Front Range Republicans as Arapahoe County GOP chair. He's married to 18th Judicial District Attorney Carole Chambers.

By comparison, Gholston is a relative unknown, though he turned some heads last summer at the state GOP convention when he delivered a rousing speech as a candidate for RNC committeeman. Gholston came in second in that race to former interim state treasurer Mark Hillman, though he shocked many by winning more votes than state Sen. Dave Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs).

Colorado Republican Party elections will be held in March.


Mile High Politics is back!

My deepest apologies for the three-week hiatus from Mile High Politics. A number of factors -- holiday vacation, lack of Internet, and the job search, among other things -- kept me away from this blog until now.

I'm sure I've lost a significant portion of my readership because of the downtime, but I'll be posting on Colorado politics from now on (at least until I'm again paid to cover Colorado politics).

Thanks, as always, for reading! Don't forget to keep those comments and tips coming!



Call officially in the running for Denver GOP chair

Colorado Republican Party general counsel Ryan Call officially announced to Mile High Politics on Monday that he's running for chair of the Denver Republican Party.

Call said in talking with precinct captains, he didn't hear of anyone planning to run against him during Denver GOP elections on Feb. 7. But he added that he couldn't count out a last-minute challenge "from left field" by a Ron Paul supporter or another candidate.

The Denver Republicans will elect party officers Feb. 7 at Hill Middle School, 451 Clermont St. Registration will start at 9 a.m., he said; the meeting will convene at 10 a.m.

In addition to party chair, the Denver GOP will also elect three vice-chairs and a secretary. Until now, the Denver GOP has only elected a single vice-chair.

Two candidates for vice-chair will be blogger/2008 HD-6 GOP nominee Joshua Sharf and Restaurant Kevin Taylor general manager Toby Hurd, according to Call.

Call said a member of a local college Republicans group will likely be tabbed for a vice-chairmanship or party secretary.

Call, 33, said the number of young people seeking party leadership positions was not a coincidence.

"We recognize that if we don’t reach out to and don’t provide leadership positions to that next generation, the party will struggle," Call said.

As chair, Call said he wants the party to focus on increasing voter turnout in Denver for the 2010 Republican candidates for U.S. Senate and governor.

Call also said he wants to challenge every Denver state legislative race in 2010, and said that Republicans could pick up a couple victories in the traditionally Democratic city.

"We want to make the Democrats work for it," Call said. "With the right kind of candidate, right kind of message, we can pick up one and maybe even a couple of seats in Denver."

Call said he'll remain state party counsel if he's elected Denver GOP chair.