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Colorado GOP recall fever could spread to mountains, target Kerry Donovan

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April 22, 2019, 5:45 pm

An April 11 Republican recall election training session reveals the Colorado GOP would love to take out Colorado state Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, but for the fact that Eagle County – the main population center in the sprawling district — is so damn blue.

State Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail

A post Monday from the left-leaning website Colorado Pols includes a Facebook video of the session conducted by Ben Engen of Constellation Political Consulting — a Republican political consulting firm whose clients include the Colorado Republican Party and the GOP-led Senate Majority Fund.

The state party can’t help everywhere Republicans want to recall Democrats, Engen notes, but it might be more willing to help in SD5, according to the Pols’ post:

“As Engen next tells the audience, they are more likely to get help from the State GOP in Senate District 5, which is represented by Democratic Sen. Kerry Donovan: ‘Now, if your petitions are successful and you do initiate a recall, the state party will almost always find money to support you – and especially if it’s against Kerry Donovan.’

“Engen goes on to emphasize the importance of finding an actual Republican candidate to run against a lawmaker targeted for recall, at which point another audience member says this: UNIDENTIFIED MAN: ‘Our biggest challenge will be Eagle County. That’s our biggest problem with Kerry Donovan, because Eagle County is a really blue county, and that’s where the majority of the population is. So, if that county just decides to vote for her in the recall, then she might stay on.’”

Pols then added this comment: “It is indeed quite a challenge to initiate this here recall when you consider that voters in SD5 actually want Donovan as their State Senator. Donovan was just re-elected to another 4-year term in November 2018 BY A 20-POINT MARGIN.”

Eagle County is indeed a very blue county these days, with Sheriff James van Beek the only elected member of the GOP currently serving.

Still, that clearly won’t thwart Republican efforts to regain power. But instead of moderating and trying to win over independents, the state GOP, which recently inducted Eagle County Republican Party Chairwoman Kaye Ferry into its hall of fame (despite that record of just one elected party member), is going the recall route.

It worked against a couple of Dems in 2013, but five years later Democrats control both chambers of the legislature, the governor’s mansion and virtually every down-ballot elected office from secretary of state to attorney general.

RealVail.com recently asked state Rep. Dylan Roberts, D-Avon, if the threat of a recall would impact how he votes on climate legislation. Here’s how he responded:

“[Climate change] is the most urgent matter of our time, and as a young politician it’s a priority for me,” Roberts said. “I’m not scared by the threat of recalls or anything like that because I know it’s the right thing to do for our planet and especially for Eagle and Routt counties that literally rely on the snow falling.”

Extremism and recalls taking precedence over moderation and reaching out to the state’s growing electorate of registered independents. That’s the modern Colorado GOP approach. How’s that working?

Here’s that April 11 training video:

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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