Denver Rustlers: A Colorado tradition

Gathered for today’s Denver Rustler’s event: Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Steve Weil of Rockmount Ranch, and Wes Friednash and Josh Hanfling, who both help oversee the event. (SOS photo)

For 33 years now, Colorado’s business, civil and political leaders have worked together to make Denver Rustlers the guardian angel of both the Colorado State Fair and the rural kids who show their animals at the event.

Denver City Councilwoman Kendra Black and Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson. (SOS photo)

The Rustlers boarded three large buses today and headed south to Pueblo, where its pool of money will be used to bid on sheep, cattle and more during the Junior Livestock Sale.

“It’s one of my favorite events,” said Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who works in Denver and commutes from Colorado Springs. “It’s always nice to get outside of the metro area and visit the rest of the state.”

The event begins in Greenwood Village with an early lunch at Del Frisco’s (home of the most incredible mini corn dogs you will ever eat).

It attracts current and former governors (John Hickenlooper and Bill Ritter, respectively), current and former agricultural commissioners (Don Brown and Don Ament, respectively); members of Congress and the General Assembly, county commissioners, city council members and more.

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Jason Kander’s candor delights Colorado Democrats

Jason Kander assembled a rifle while blindfolded in his U.S. Senate race, a topic that came up when he spoke to the Colorado Democratic Party at its annual dinner Saturday in Denver.

It turns out that the Missouri Democrat, who now is the president of Let America Vote,  hired the same ad man behind John Hickenlooper’s spot featuring the then-Denver mayor showering while clothed when running for Colorado governor in 2010.

“Jason ran, in my view, the best Senate campaign in 2016, Republican or Democrat,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado said when he introduced Kander.

“And it wasn’t just because of his good ads or his family or because he’s a compelling speaker. It was because of his character. Jason the candidate was no different than the father, the husband, the former intelligence officer, the Secretary of State.”

Ah, secretary of state.

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U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s son Thatcher steals the show — again

U.S. Sen. Cory and his wife, Jaime, and their children Thatcher, 5, Caitlyn, 2, and Alyson, 13, at the San Luis Valley Lincoln Day Dinner in Alamosa Saturday night. (SOS)

Once again, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s son has upstaged him, this time at the San Luis Valley Lincoln Day Dinner in Alamosa Saturday night.

Two years ago, Thatcher Gardner stole the show from state Senate President Bill Cadman at the Colorado Republican Party’s Centennial Dinner in the metro area. Thatcher was 3 at the time when he kept mimicking Cadman; he’s now 5 as he was happy to remind his dad.

Thatcher Gardner proudly displays where his tooth used to be. (SOS)

Gardner, the featured speaker at the dinner, was telling the crowd about when his son had worked on a school project that asked for favorite color and such. Thatcher, who was seated at the head table, was intent on his computer game.

“I think he was 4 at the time,” Gardner said.

“I’m 5,” Thatcher said, without looking up.

It was the second time the boy addressed the dinner.

The first time was when Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams spoke, after being introduced by Alamosa County Commissioner  Darius Allen, who praised Williams. Allen said when Williams served on the El Paso County Board of Commissioners he looked out for small, rural counties and was the commissioners’ go-to-guy on transportation. Williams talked about elections — and transportation.

“I didn’t care what affiliation the road was when it had a pothole in it,” Williams said, resulting in a big “Ha!” from Thatcher that drew a laugh from the crowd.

Read moreU.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s son Thatcher steals the show — again

Wayne Williams in Washington: senators, space & secretaries of state

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, visits Wednesday with Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, at Bennet’s office in D.C. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams participated in a variety of events today, including a visit with U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, as the National Association of Secretaries of State winter conference kicked off in Washington, D.C.

Williams, who is NASS’ vice president for the Western region, was part of a panel mentoring secretaries of state elected in November. Williams has been paired  with Maggie Toulouse Oliver of New Mexico.

Williams on Friday will participate in a NASS panel looking at voter trust and confidence in elections.

“It is always good to meet with my counterparts across the nation to share ‘lessons learned,’ particularly after the closely watched 2016 presidential election,” Williams said.

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Clinton beats Trump — in Colorado

William Jennings Bryan in Denver, where he accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 1908. (Courtesy of the Denver Public Library Western History Collection)
William Jennings Bryan in Denver, where he accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 1908. (Courtesy of the Denver Public Library Western History Collection)

Colorado’s political historian, Dick Wadhams, did some digging when a former state representative asked: “When was the last time a Democratic candidate for president carried Colorado while a Republican was winning the presidency?”

The question from former Rep. Rob Witwer came after Democrat Hillary Clinton won Colorado on Nov. 8,  but Republican Donald Trump took the presidency.

Wadhams told former state Rep. Rob Witwer that “unless my research is wrong” the last time was in 1908 when  Democrat William Jennings Bryan carried Colorado but Republican William Howard Taft won the presidency.  Bryan won the Democratic nomination for president in 1908 in Denver.

Wadhams also noted that Republicans have carried Colorado during Democratic presidential victories:  1940, Roosevelt-Willkie; 1944, Roosevelt-Dewey; 1960, Kennedy-Nixon; and 1996, Bill Clinton-Dole.

Hillary Clinton will receive Colorado’s nine electoral votes during a ceremony in the governor’s office on Dec. 19.  Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams will participate in the ceremony.

*If your research shows something different, please let me know: Lynn.Bartels@SOS.state.co.us.

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