On KLZ 560-AM’s “Wake Up with Randy Corporon” Friday, former Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve House officially announced his bid to dislodge Ryan Call from his job as Chair of the Colorado Republican Party.
“My phone rings all the way until 10 o’clock at night with people calling me the last three or four days, saying ‘I’m glad you’re going to do it. It is time for a change,’” announced House, whose intention to run against Ryan Call was reported by the Colorado Statesman last week.
Call has weathered a barrage of criticism over his two terms as state chair, mostly from the “liberty” or “Tea-Party” wing of the state GOP for not doing enough to support “grassroots” Republicans.
In November 2013, for example, now State Senator Laura Woods, who was using the name “Laura Waters,” blasted Ryan Call for obstructing the recall effort against Democratic State Sen. Evie Hudak.
On KNUS Peter Boyles’ radio show at the time, Woods, who was organizing the Hudak recall effort, indicated she hadn’t voted for Call as GOP chair, and she said that, thanks to Ryan Call, “at certain doors and in certain phone calls, we’re even fighting against our own party.”
This year, Woods, with heavy support from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and despite opposition from committees like Protect and Defend Colorado, squeaked by Republican Lang Sias in the GOP primary. She went on to narrowly Democrat incumbent Rachel Zenzinger to take the Westminster State Senate seat, which Woods has to defend again next year, making it a key battleground for control of the Colorado Senate.
The GOP central committee is scheduled to vote on the Call-House contest March 7, but this may change to accommodate the schedules of Republican congressional representatives, House said on air. Call is running with Vice Chair Mark Baisley.
On KLZ, House emphasized the need to help Republican County Chairs respond to the on-the-ground needs of candidates immediately, without obstruction–and with adequate resources.
“Every single county in this state, and there are some that do a great job, needs to better funded, more stable, more capable of training and recruiting candidates so we can win races,” said House on air, adding that Ryan Call has improved things a bit but not enough. “We’re not going to win races from the top down.” He added he will not take a salary.
And, music to the ears of talk-radio hosts like “Righty” Corporon, House offered to set up a regular time to be on KLZ radio and elsewhere to take phone calls and discuss issues.
“Office hours with the chairman will be a big thing for me,” said House, promising to make himself available in multiple venues and platforms to interact with Republicans.
Radio-host Corporon told listeners that Ryan Call has refused to go on his radio show, despite promises to do so.
“I’m blessed in part because I live in a country that has a constitution that is a framework for a just society in my opinion,” House told Corporon. “We don’t adhere to it the way I really want to adhere to it. But it gave me opportunity. So if you start to see that under threat, if you see that this state may not live under conservative principles, constitutional principles, capitalism, you have to get involved to defend the lifestyle you’ve been given.”
Pueblo GOP County Chair called in and endorsed House, because, she said, he believes in “bottom-up, not top-down, management.” House also appears to have the support of State Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.