Sen. Cory Gardner returns to Colorado on Friday, but he’s bringing Washington with him. He’s hosting a fundraiser breakfast with Sen. John Thune (R-SD) at a country club in Cherry Hills Village.
Gardner, who is under fire from his constituents for not holding a public event since September of 2017, is spending his time on high-dollar donor events: he’s held at least four since the beginning of the year, all in Washington, DC.
A pair of powerhouse law firms hosted luncheons for him in January. In February all the members of the Senate GOP leadership, including Majority Whip Thune, joined Gardner for his “Campaign Kick-off.”
Just yesterday, the Gardner campaign invited DC’s high rollers to an undisclosed location to have margaritas…for $500.
Tickets for tomorrow’s breakfast also start at $500 per person, though one can “sponsor” the event for $1000. It’s unclear how much it costs to join “host committee. As of the invitation’s distribution, the listed names included several prominent Coloradans and one public official: Harold Smethills, David Mandarich, Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Shreck partner Bruce James, and Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon.
Newly elected Douglas County Commissioner Laydon is an attorney and former member of the Douglas County Planning Commission, as well as a former vice chair of the county GOP.
Reached for comment, Commissioner Laydon said he’s excited about the commitment Gardner has made to pursue infrastructure projects that are important to the residents of Douglas County. He continued,
“I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of him in terms of engaging all of his constituents in Colorado. My understanding of Cory is that he would like to engage with the public in Colorado and make sure that those voices are heard.”
Asked if the senator’s lack of public appearances is a concern to him as a public offical, Laydon replied,
“I think that has been a concern shared by many and that I think Senator Gardner also shares. What’s really exciting for me is to see him really hear those voices and those concerns and to make a concerted effort to show up and to listen and I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of him.”
David Mandarich is the president of Richmond American Homes, a subsidiary of MDC Holdings, the massive development company owned by Larry Mizel. Television producer Chris Dorsey is the founder of Orion Entertainment.
Harold Smethills is a Douglas County developer who founded the Sterling Ranch community. He serves on the board of Colorado Concern, a pro-business political advocacy group comprised of CEOs and industry heavyweights.
CORRECTION: This post initially identified David Mandarich as president of MDC Holdings. He is president of Richmond American Homes. Larry Mizel is the Chairman & CEO of MDC Holdings, which owns Richmond American Homes.