Colorado Republican Party Finds New Chaos Under Steve House

Steve House and Tyler Hart (photo via Blacktie Colorado).

Steve House and Tyler Hart (photo via Blacktie Colorado).


On Monday the GOP lost its only decent potential candidate for U.S. Senate when Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) made it official that he would seek re-election in CD-6 rather than challenge Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in 2016. Trying to find another potential Senate candidate while avoiding a bitter GOP Primary would be enough to worry about for one week, but that’s almost a secondary concern for Republicans as the State Party implodes.

On Sunday, the State Republican Party announced that Chairman Steve House had selected Tyler Hart as his new Chief of Staff, and Republican insiders are furious about the decision. Apparently there is widespread concern that House chose someone with little political or campaign experience to serve as his right-hand person. It probably doesn’t help that Hart comes from the Tea Party wing of Republican activists, but based on her resume alone, Hart seems like a strange hire; you can see from the press release that Hart’s professional experience doesn’t appear to make a ton of sense given the role House envisions for her:

“Tyler’s responsibility is to execute the vision I have laid out for the Party,” House said. “She will do this by working with candidates, elected officials, county chairs, volunteers and staff to win elections and advance policies to empower Coloradans.”

Hart’s operational duties will include meeting with activists and organizers, messaging and communications, fundraising, outreach, training, managing the schedules of the chairman and vice chairman and supporting elected officials, candidates, and volunteers.  She will also support county leadership and their needs by working with Joy Hoffman, the Colorado GOP’s Chair of Chairs, and the Republican National Committee’s team led by Ian Lindeman.

The decision to place Hart in such a high-profile position within the State Party was quickly followed by the resignation of State Party Executive Director Shana Kohn. The Republican National Committee (RNC) has since pulled its Colorado-based staff from the State GOP, re-deploying them to the “RNC Victory” program (to ensure that the State GOP has no control over staff decisions).

Colorado Republicans had a pretty good year in 2014, but it wasn’t enough to save the job of State Party Chair Ryan Call, who was defeated by House over a litany of concerns about how Call was operating the State GOP. Three months later, Call looks like Karl freakin’ Rove by comparison.

This rapidly-widening rift among Colorado Republicans makes it increasingly difficult to prevent a complete free-for-all for the Party’s U.S. Senate nomination in 2016. “Time heals all wounds,” as the saying goes, but this particular wound looks like it is going to fester for quite awhile.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. tnvcolo says:

    Can't say I'm surprised by this. Never got the feeling that House actually had a plan.

  2. BlueCat says:

    So House had no idea how badly his pick was going to be received? Or did he just think there would be grousing but no real consequences?  And if he wanted Tea Party surely there must have been somebody available with at least rudimentary, entry level experience for the duties involved.  Definitely a WTF move.

  3. Duke Cox says:

    I guess nowadays that's called "pulling a Pinto"…?

    • Chickenheed says:


      Tinfoil Hat Time: Maybe Tea Party leaders are putting inexperienced women in leadership positions that they are unqualified for so they can claim that they really did try to let women be leaders, but women are just not man enough to handle it.

  4. notaskinnycook says:

    Does a House have to fall on the Colorado Republican Party for them to figure out they're doing something wrong? I guess so.

  5. Chickenheed says:

    Republicans like to complain that the government doesn't work so they can get elected to become a major part of the government so they can make sure it doesn't work. It's kinda funny (but mostly sad) to see the Tea Party doing the same thing to the Republican Party.

  6. Moderatus says:

    Your uninformed speculation is laughable. No true Republican will ever listen to you.

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