Colorado Republicans will be dancing and dining for dollars on both sides of the Continental Divide tomorrow night. The state GOP is hosting its primary annual fundraiser, the Centennial Dinner, in Colorado Springs.
Former U.S. Senators Cory Gardner, Wayne Allard, and Hank Brown are co-headlining this year’s event, but the party’s biggest draw, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, won’t be attending.
The state’s most prominent Republican is instead giving the keynote address at another GOP fundraiser taking place simultaneously, 150 miles west.
Boebert is headlining the Montrose GOP’s Lincoln Reagan Dinner, titled “An Evening of Unity.” Montrose GOP Chair Spencer Hamner confirmed that Boebert is giving the keynote address in person.
The event’s slogan reads, “Together We Can Elect Republicans.” The flyer features Bobert’s campaign logo and tagline, which notably does not mention her party affiliation, but reads “Conservative for Colorado.”
Boebert’s office did not immediately return a request for comment asking for details on the scheduling conflict or if she plans to give a video address to the statewide event attendees. This article will be updated with any response received.
The double-booking presents a challenge for Western Slope conservatives who presumably want to support their local party but also attend the statewide soiree. Those who choose Montrose over Colorado Springs will save some money; tickets to see Boebert are $55, as opposed to $125 per person to hear the three former members of the upper chamber of Congress.
Both events feature a country theme. The dress code for the statewide fundraiser is “Western Casual” and Americana Country band Carolina is providing the live music for the Montrose dinner.
At least two Western Slope politicos are making the trek to Colorado Springs. State Rep. Matt Soper (R-Delta), who also sits on the state’s Tourism Board is already on the east side of the Divide for this week’s Governor’s Tourism Conference in Pueblo and plans to make the short drive north for Saturday’s festivities in El Paso County. Cindy Ficklin, who recently declared her candidacy for House District 55 (currently represented by Rep. Janice Rich, who is term-limited), says she’s attending the Centennial Dinner with former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, who now resides in Colorado Springs.
Another Springs resident, U.S. Senate candidate Eli Bremer says he plans to attend the Centennial Dinner.
The trio of speakers at the Centennial Dinner comprise three of the party’s four living former members of Senate. Senior alumnus Ben Nighthorse Campbell will be in Oklahoma City where he is being inducted into the Native American Hall of Fame.
The event takes place at the Bourbon Brothers’ “Boot Barn Hall” venue. This isn’t the first time the El Paso County distillery has helped out Republican politicians. Gardner filmed a campaign ad at their Colorado Springs restaurant last year. The fundraiser is closed to press, which means Gardner won’t have to face any questions about a lawsuit filed earlier this week alleging that the National Rifle Association illegally funded his political campaigns.