After kicking off his Colorado re-election campaign at Thursday evening’s rally alongside President Trump, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) is headed west, prospecting for gold in the form of cash contributions.
Friday he’ll be lunching at the Aspen Glen Club in Carbondale. The private, gated community a few miles down the road from its famously wealthy namesake ski town, but if you want to play its Jack Nicklaus golf course, membership still runs a cool $100,000 (as of 2016), plus another $1,000 in monthly dues.
Joining Gardner as members of the host committee will be state Sen. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale) and his wife Joyce, who represents the Third District for Colorado’s state Board of Education. A call to Rankin’s office was not immediately returned.
Numerous other Republican donors round out the host committee. They include: local auto dealer Jeff Carlson and his wife Nancy, who served as a Romney alternate delegate to the RNC in 2012; former state Rep. Gregg Rippey; Alpine Bank executive and recent Polis appointee to the Colorado Securities Board Thomas Kenning; and several of other longtime GOP donors.
Reached for comment, host committee member Mark Gould, Sr., who served as Garfield County GOP Chair back in the early 90s, said while he is no longer a member of the Republican party, he is still supportive of both Gardner and Trump.
“Being an independent is the right thing to do for me right now,” said Gould. “I’m probably a Republican at heart, but it’s a terrible time in politics right now. It’s more partisan than I’ve ever seen it. I’m a Trump supporter and I’m a Gardner supporter. I believe Gardner has done a great job for us. I’m also generally happy with what Trump has done for the country. I don’t like the tweets, but his policies are good, especially on trade and taxes.”
At $100 per ticket ($150 per couple), this luncheon is significantly less expensive than a similar event the Gardner campaign hosted last year- a $500/plate breakfast that featured not only Gardner, but Senate GOP Whip John Thune (R-SD).
The Garfield County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner takes place later Friday evening in downtown Glenwood Springs.
Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) is the keynote speaker. Gardner isn’t listed on the event announcement, and although Garfield GOP Chair Carrie Couey wouldn’t confirm his appearance, she acknowledged there was a possibility he would stop by.