Denver Rustlers: another great Colorado tradition

Businessman Eddie Robinson, Secretary of State Wayne Williams and philanthropist and businessman Larry Mizel at this year's Denver Rustlers event. (SOS photo)
Businessman Eddie Robinson, Secretary of State Wayne Williams and philanthropist and businessman Larry Mizel at this year’s Denver Rustlers event. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams considers it a privilege to attend the Denver Rustlers event, which raises money to buy livestock from the kids showing animals at the Colorado State Fair.

Democrats, Republicans and business leaders come together every year for a light lunch at Del Frisco’s Grille, donated by the restaurant. They then head down to Pueblo to bid on livestock and mingle and eat some more. The event began 32 years ago, when an economic downturn threatened to shut down the Junior Livestock Sale at the State Fair. Since then, Denver Rustlers has raised nearly $3 million.

Among those attending the Denver Rustlers event this year were U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner; U.S. Reps. Jared Polis, Mike Coffman and Diana DeGette, legislators, city council members and various chiefs of staffs. That means you Doug Friednash.

Read moreDenver Rustlers: another great Colorado tradition

If you’re Chris Hansen, where’s Sen. Cory Gardner?

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Yuma Republican, and his chief of staff, Chris Hansen. (Facebook)
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Yuma Republican, and his chief of staff, Chris Hansen. (Facebook)

Meet Chris Hansen, the chief of staff for Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner. Meet Chris Hansen, one of three Democrats running for a Denver state House seat.

The two Chris Hansens have never met but their paths have crossed for more than a year.

When candidate Chris Hansen showed up at the Denver Rustlers lunch on Sept. 1  guests peppered him with questions and comments. “Wait, you’re not the Chris Hansen I know!” and “I thought Cory’s chief of staff would be here when I saw your name on the list.”

It’s happened at other events, too, where both Republicans and Democrats are in the crowd.

Chief of Staff Chris Hansen knows the feeling. He opened up his Facebook page last year to find he had been “tagged” in a post by DA candidate Michael Carrigan as attending an event where Betsy Markey, a Democrat running for state treasurer, “gave great remarks about her race.”

“Wrong Chris Hansen,” Chris Hansen wrote on Facebook. “A very wrong Chris Hansen, since I’m actually Cory’s campaign manager. Looks like a fun event though.”

“It was,” Carrigan replied. “Should have brought Cory!”

Read moreIf you’re Chris Hansen, where’s Sen. Cory Gardner?