If you have any clever puns to play off of the name “Ryan Call,” now would be the time to use them.
Republicans will convene on Saturday to select their Party leadership for the next two years, and from everything we hear, State Party Chair Ryan Call will almost certainly lose his re-election bid to challenger Steve House. The conclusion is so forgone, in fact, that Call has apparently already come to terms with his fate and is now just hoping to keep the final tally from turning into a rout for House.
Colorado Republicans had a pretty good year at the polls in 2014, but as we told you back in December, the knives were coming out for Call anyway. Republican insiders have never been comfortable with paying a hefty salary to a State Party Chair, and it was this concern over the State GOP budget that got the ball of change rolling. Call has since been plagued by stories of shady campaign finance connections, and the Chair’s race has taken on the kind of bizarre paranoia that Colorado Republicans do best. The list of grievances aimed at Call continues to grow.
House is a former Adams County Republican Chair, and 2014 candidate for governor, who in many ways was an ideal candidate to put forth to challenge Call. House is independently wealthy and doesn’t need the salary that Call has been collecting, which makes it easy for him to push for the GOP to return to a pre-Dick Wadhams era when Party Chair wasn’t a full-time paid gig.
With Call likely to lose on Saturday, the story now turns to Senator Cory Gardner, who has publicly and privately supported the two-term GOP Chair. Gardner is reportedly collecting proxies from around the state to support Call on Saturday, and a loss for Call will be a serious black eye for Gardner’s image. National media outlets praised Gardner as a rising star following his November defeat of Sen. Mark Udall, but how will they gauge Gardner’s inability to get his own State Party Chair re-elected? Gardner is already reeling from backlash over the infamous “Dear Iran” letter, and soon he’ll be asked to explain why the GOP faithful in Colorado have already tuned him out.