The Centennial State is declaring a revolution to overthrow establishment politicians, liberal values, and the entitlement mindset that is the foundation of socialism. In their place, constitutional conservatism is rising, coupled with unashamed Christian faith. This change has been manifest through the votes cast by Colorado delegates, and by the shifting demographics of the Colorado GOP.
Coloradans are beginning to expect the unexpected, and I had the honor of witnessing a Colorado-style revolution at the State Convention of Colorado Republicans in Colorado Springs on Saturday.
Speakers ranged from the chair of the convention, to candidates for national committeewoman and committeeman, to state legislators and U.S. Senate candidates, to Ted Cruz himself—and all boldly proclaimed their advocacy for life, free markets, Second Amendment rights, religious liberty, and constitutional conservatism. They were received with roaring cheers from the Colorado delegation present at the convention.
The Colorado Revolution took the national stage on Saturday as the convention produced two unexpected results.
First, Ted Cruz, who was viewed as an outsider underdog candidate by the media until a few months ago, swept delegate elections in all seven of Colorado’s congressional districts as well as the state convention; 34 of Colorado’s 37 national delegates are pledged to Cruz, and the rest are unpledged.
Trump has decried the delegate selection process in Colorado as un-democratic, but having been present at every level of the process I can confidently attest that it serves to accurately represent those who are willing to exert the time and energy necessary to participate. Beyond the fact that Cruz came to the convention himself and neither of the other candidates bothered to come, Cruz people showed up, organized, and made the sacrifices necessary to win. Trump people simply didn’t.
The second unexpected manifestation of revolution was in the Senate race. Going into the convention, State Senator Tim Neville seemed to be the clear frontrunner: he had money, a proven conservative record, and enough orange “Neville for Senate” stickers to carpet the convention center.
Enter Darryl Glenn, a charismatic, African-American, 49-year-old retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who is now a county commissioner in Colorado Springs. He called himself “an unapologetic Christian, Constitutional Conservative, pro-life, Second Amendment loving American,” and gave a rousing speech that received multiple standing ovations.
“Ladies and gentlemen, there is evil in this world. But if you believe like I believe, we can handle that!”
Glenn broke the mold of the other candidates who had preached to the choir and repeated the “pro-God, pro-life, and pro-gun” mantra that had been used throughout the convention, and instead gave a rallying cry to the military, called out the Obama Administration for the VA scandal, and demanded that Americans elect a new administration that will acknowledge radical Islamic terrorism for what it is.
Glenn was the only Senate candidate to promise to fight for the repeal of the Iran nuclear deal and the only candidate to promise to vote to defund sanctuary cities.
The loudest outburst of applause was in response to:
“It’s not about white America, black America, or brown America—it is about the United States of America! All you reporters, listen up, because I have news for you: ALL LIVES MATTER!”
When he addressed the economy and the federal budget, he said that we must establish economic freedom—and, “As my kids know, I know how to say ‘no’!”
Glenn concluded with:
“I am tired of hearing about Republicans reaching across the aisle. We need to stand up and lead!”
When the results of the Senate vote were announced, a collective gasp rose from the delegation. Glenn garnered 2,664 votes, while Tim Neville received only 696 and Commissioner Peg Littleton came in third with 218; with over 70% of the votes, Glenn was the only candidate to clear the 30% threshold and qualify to be on the primary ballot in June. He will still face four other primary challengers who opted for the petition route to the ballot rather than the convention—Robert Blaha, Ryan Frazier, Jon Keyser, and Jack Graham.
Clearly the Colorado GOP is undergoing a revolution on two fronts—a return to traditional values and a rejection of the left’s labels as racist, sexist homophobes. The values and principles are stronger than ever, but the demographic of the party is also changing profoundly.
In an editorial titled, “It’s Not Your Grandpa’s GOP,” the Colorado Springs Gazette noted that the convention was like none the state (or the party) have ever seen:
“The convention was a showcase of diversity among candidates and a long parade of white, black, Indian, straight, gay, male and female speakers in positions of power. Nothing resembled the party’s old established white male image…. The Republican Party is getting a political blood transfusion…. Democrats should take heed. They aren’t facing grandpa’s old GOP this year.”
The convention nominated the blackest man in the room to the Senate primary ballot; almost unanimously elected a Chinese man (George Leing) as national committeeman and a Colombian immigrant (Vera Ortegon) as national committeewoman; and gave all of its national delegates to a Cuban American.
Colorado Republicans are joining the revolution in droves. Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve House said 30 to 40 percent of the delegates to the state convention and the congressional assemblies are brand new to the process. They aren’t loyal gears in the party machine—they’re freshly-lit firebrands who are joining the process anew to reclaim liberty for themselves, their families, and their neighbors.
Historically, Coloradans are known for being fiercely independent—the cowboy spirit rules the day. That independence shone brightly at the Republican state convention, as Colorado Republicans proved to the nation and the world that they will not succumb to the accusations of the left, and that they are instead undergoing a revolutionary rebirth of liberty, responsibility, constitutionality, and diversity.