Neither fire nor flood could stop Colorado Republicans from traveling to Grand Junction last Saturday to see Congresswoman Lauren Boebert and her colleague Jim Jordan (R-OH) co-headline the annual Mesa County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.
Mother Nature didn’t make it easy for Front Range conservatives attempting to make it to the Western Slope. Mudslides and flooding brought on by rain drenching Glenwood Canyon walls charred bare from last summer’s fires kept Grand Junction’s main route from the east closed much of Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile multiple wildfires added to the smoke and haze across the state, leading to a record-setting consecutive number of poor air quality days during which the state encourages residents to drive as little as possible.
Colorado’s only statewide Republican elected official and oft-mentioned potential gubernatorial candidate CU Regent Heidi Ganahl nevertheless made it all the way from Lone Tree.
Ganahl shared a brief video of the singing of the national anthem to her Facebook page, writing, “Wonderful night in Grand Junction with my western slope friends! @MesaCounty_GOP celebrating Freedom!”
Greg Lopez, the one-time mayor of Parker, who has been running for governor almost continuously since 2018, made the trip from Douglas County and found time during the VIP reception to get a photo with Jordan.
Another longshot gubernatorial hopeful, Danielle Neuschwanger of Elbert, also made the trek from the Front Range.
Colorado Springs denizen Eli Bremer, who’s weighing a U.S. Senate run, told the Colorado Times Recorder via text that he attended the dinner “but didn’t have a high profile.” The former Olympian and one-time EL Paso County GOP chair says he arrived and departed early enough to avoid canyon closures.
Another Springs resident, Rose Pugliese, who led the failed “No” campaign against Colorado joining the National Popular Vote compact and rumored to be considering a run for Secretary of State, returned to the county where she previously served as Commissioner.
Declared U.S. Senate candidate Peter Yu of Windsor, who previously ran for Congress, in the Second District, made the journey across the Continental Divide from Weld County.
Boebert’s outreach director Clarice Ratzlaff-Navarro, a former state legislator from Pueblo who has tweeted that she’s considering a bid for Sen. Michael Bennet’s seat, scored a photo with Rep. Jordan.
Approximately 600 people attended the sold-out fundraiser, tickets for which cost $130 (plus an extra $100 for the VIP reception) and benefitted the Mesa County Republican Party. The controversial headliners generated considerable protest among area Democrats and progressives, as well as counter-protests in support of the pro-Trump legislators.
Naturally plenty of other Western Slope elected officials also attended.
Colorado Vice Chair Priscilla Rahn declared Mesa GOP Chair Kevin McCarney “best dressed” for his eye-catching American flag blazer and bowtie, both of which were comprised entirely of stars and stripes. Mesa Vice Chair Jacqueline Anderson and her husband Cory, a Three Percenter militia supporter, also posed with Boebert. The Andersons were among the group of extremists Boebert later denied knowing, after posing with them on the state Capitol steps in December of 2019.
State Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta) shared a photo of himself sandwiched between Boebert and Jordan. State Sen. Ray Scott, Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland and Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters attended as well.
Wearing a “Don’t Tread on Me” cap and toting her trademark Glock, Boebert herself posed for several photos, including one with Rep. Jordan, Pamela Chapman of the Eagle County Grassroots Conservatives, and a man holding a t-shirt that read, “Trump Won.”
Both Boebert and Jordan voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results of multiple states. Both also had their names considered as potential GOP members of the Jan. 6 Comission, though House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy only submitted Jordan, who was subsequently rejected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.