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.

Read moreWayne Williams in Washington: senators, space & secretaries of state

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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CO Democrats lead GOP heading into election for first time in 32 years

U.S. President Ronald Reagan, left, and Democratic candidate Walter Mondale shake hands at the start of their second 1984 presidential debate in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds/Denver Public Library)
U.S. President Ronald Reagan, left, and Democratic candidate Walter Mondale shake hands at the start of their second 1984 presidential debate in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds/Denver Public Library)

A CNN reporter who had been tracking Colorado’s voter registration correctly surmised that by September’s end Democrats would outnumber Republicans but he wondered: When was the last time that happened going into a general election?

Reporter Marshall Cohen called with that question in mid-September. A search through voter abstracts and binders — filled with monthly registration stats —  revealed it was 1984. Despite the lead, President Reagan still carried Colorado.

The research turned up some other interesting factoids on Colorado’s voter history: Fifty years ago, more than one-fourth of Colorado voters lived in Denver County, and unaffiliated voters over the decades have often been the largest voting block in the state, just as they are right now.

The next monthly report from Colorado Secretary of State’s office on voter registration is due this week  now available at the SoS website.  (Unaffiliated voters are still the largest voting block, despite an earlier report in this blog that Democrats had taken the lead. It’s so tough when Curis Hubbard is right.) When last month’s report was issued, the state had 3.1 million active voters, including 998,845 Democrats and 992,944 Republicans.

Cohen and colleague Jeff Simon visited Colorado to talk to them.

“Whether it’s because of the mountains, the microbreweries or the legal marijuana, Colorado is an attractive place to live,” they wrote.

The CNN piece was titled, “Colorado is not a battleground this year; Is it the next blue state?”

Read moreCO Democrats lead GOP heading into election for first time in 32 years

Colorado’s new world ballot order

My name is Madeline Gallagher, I am a senior at Fountain Valley School of Colorado. I am curious about why the names on the ballot are in their particular order.

Democrat Alice Madden
Democrat Alice Madden
Republican Heidi Ganahl.
Republican Heidi Ganahl

Madeline isn’t the only person to ask why Hillary Clinton’s name is ahead of Donald Trump’s in the list of candidates for president on Colorado’s ballot — or why their names are before Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Or why U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s name comes before his Republican challenger, Darryl Glenn, but in the 6th Congressional District, the incumbent, Republican Mike Coffman, is listed after his Democratic challenger, Morgan Carroll.

My government teacher was unable to answer, but, by asking I piqued his curiosity and my fellow classmates’ as well. My research has not lead me to an answer, but it did lead me to the Colorado Secretary of State website.

 Madeline, the answer has to do with the alphabet and luck. I learned about this system when a political consultant last month asked about the statewide race for the University of Colorado Board of Regents. Was there a reason Democrat Alice Madden’s name was ahead of Republican challenger Heidi Ganahl’s? When I asked ballot access manager Joel Albin, I found out yes, there was a reason. Madden’s name was drawn first.

Read moreColorado’s new world ballot order