THIS IS THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM WADHAMS:
It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Colorado Republican Chairman but after much reflection I have decided to not seek reelection.
I am very grateful to a clear majority of the members of the Colorado Republican State Central Committee who offered their support and encouragement over the past several weeks.
I entered this race a few weeks ago looking forward to discussing what we accomplished in 2010 and to the opportunities we have in 2012 to elect a new Republican president; to increase our state House majority and win a state Senate majority; and to reelect our two new members of Congress.
However, I have tired of those who are obsessed with seeing conspiracies around every corner and who have terribly misguided notions of what the role of the state party is while saying “uniting conservatives” is all that is needed to win competitive races across the state.
I have no delusions this will recede after the state central committee meeting in March. Meanwhile, the ability of Colorado Republicans to win and retain the votes of hundreds of thousands of unaffiliated swing voters in 2012 will be severely undermined.
For the past four years, I have devoted all of my professional time and energy to serving as state chairman and am very proud of what we accomplished in the face of unique and unprecedented challenges in both the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.
I will always remain humbled and grateful for the opportunity to travel this magnificent state where I was born and raised and to work with Republican leaders and elected officials in all 64 counties as state chairman.
AND THIS RESPONSE COMES FROM MELINDA, ONE OF MY LISTENERS:
Mr. Wadhams' resignation comments reflect his tendency to divide and compartmentalize Republicans. It was always his way or nothing. I would have had much more respect for him if he had noted his own shortcomings instead of pointing fingers. He can't run from the facts: we lost key races in '06, '08 and '10---on his watch. He should have followed suit of Michael Steele and resigned in the best interest of the party.
With that said, if tea party, new-to-the-process people are elected to key leadership roles here in El Paso County and at the state level, they, too, must get past the anger and emotion of those lost races. They can't follow in Wadhams' path and reject anyone that doesn't walk in lock step with them. I worked on the Buck campaign and there were some people leading that effort that believed "we got here without the establishment wing of the party and we don't need them now." The same mentality brought down Sharon Angle's campaign in NV. I agree that there are many conservatives on the perimeter and they watch the same old crowd here in the county run everything. I know many of those outsiders and while I am a precinct leader and am running Sat. for a Division Precinct leader spot, I identify more with the people that feel left out than I do with the 'in crowd'. The email sent recently asking for donations of $500 or something close to that to keep the county office open completely alienates the young Republican couple struggling to pay the electric bill but might have sent in $5.00. Instead, they withdraw because its a social club that's too rich for their budget. We have many elitist folks here that as you say, have devoted their lives to the party. They are often retired people or women of means that don't have to work. They talk with their checkbook and they are at every single event, no matter the cost or entry fee. There are thousands left outside of that circle. We need leadership to bring them in and we need compelling, convincing leadership that can find a way to embrace those hard-liner's that resist change and are often unwilling to include others outside of their inner circle.
We have evangelical Christians here that will never sit next to a pro-choice conservative and try to find something to agree on. We have to find a way to find common ground with moderates. Our state is turning blue before our eyes. We don't have to compromise our ethics or morals but we have to be smart in our candidate choices and once those choices are made, we have to agree with Ronald Reagan who once said he'd rather get 80% of what he wanted than to get nothing.