How in the world will new GOP state chair set priorities?

On Saturday, Steve House was awarded the honor to lead Colorado’s Republican Party. Now what? ¬†How will he prioritize, and how will he deal with the fires and ashes surrounding him as I type? That’s the story flowing from House’s not-so-surprising victory over incumbent chair Ryan Call, and there’s lots of material to work with.

The first fire: The developing campaign to recall of Rep. Dan Thurlow. Will Steve House support a Republican-recalling-a-Republican? Will the new chair get out in front of this one and say, that’s not how we treat our own?

That fire will be burning for a while, you get the feeling, and it may be fueled by anger over how House sets his priorities as chair. He rose to power with promises to turn the state-party county entities into “franchises,” empowered to raise money and innovate.

But which counties will get the dough? There’s House’s friend, Pueblo GOP Chair Becky Mizel and others like her, who have virtually no hope of electing Republicans. Does she get an equal slice of the Republican empowerment pie? Does she get any pie, given other needs?

And there’s next year’s election. Do you throw more money at Tony Sanchez or Susan Kochevar, if they run again in 2016, as House’s own supporters would likely want? Dive deep into the Jeffco or Adams School Board races?

The Tea Party hates the thought, but should Steve House consider the Colorado state house be a lost cause at least until after 2020, especially with state Sen. Laura Woods, who won by a few hundred votes in a GOP wave year, teetering out there with a new voting record on her back and the GOP senate majority arguably resting in her hands? And in a presidential cycle, Michael Bennet looks tough to beat, analysts say.

In addition to making decisions about all of this, Steve House needs to wade though whether to ax/destroy/dismember the state Republican Party’s Independent Expenditure Committee, which was so maligned by the forces that elected House. Will he kill it?

Will Steve House throw money behind Matt Arnold’s efforts? ¬†Marilyn Marks? Or other Tea-Party led crusades?

Plus House has to decide about his executive director. What’s really going on with Ted Harvey?

Oh, and there’s the GOP ground game that needs money–perhaps more now than before Saturday’s election, because centrist precinct captains and others may be fleeing the party, sources tell me.

In any case, if this sounds like insider baseball, it is. And for Steve House, the game is on.

 

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