Jeff Hays’s campaign for Colorado GOP chair circulated yet another letter from a Republican notable Thursday — state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman — in support of his bid. Hays’s rival for the state party’s top post, George Athanasopoulos, meanwhile dismissed Coffman’s gesture as coming from “the political class.”
Coffman’s letter, distributed to GOP state Central Committee members and other Republicans statewide, continues a full-court press being mounted by Hays’s team to dial in the party’s headliners. Coffman casts Hays as the one who can get things done:
Jeff has a proven track record as two-term Chair of the El Paso County GOP, and he will bring the skills and experience he gained in that position to effectively manage the state party. I’m confident that he’ll lead our party to success because he understands the fundamentals of a successful Chair. Jeff has committed to focusing his energy on three things as Chair: raising money, growing the party, and winning elections.
Others, including GOP Secretary of State Wayne Williams, have shared similar sentiments.
Contacted Thursday, Athanasopoulos waved off the latest round of support for Hays. Athanapoulos’s campaign has cast Hays as the establishment candidate — a familiar theme among campaigns in both parties following the Donald Trump/Bernie Sanders uprising of 2016.
“The Republican elites and the political class are throwing their full weight behind Jeff,” Athanasopoulos said. “They obviously learned nothing from 2016. My supporters are ordinary Republicans, the grassroots. They might not be as flashy but there are a lot more of them, a lot more. The political class may want to keep that in mind.”
Also in the race is Mesa County Trump campaign Chair Kevin McCarney. As of Thursday afternoon, former Douglas County GOP Chair Mark Baisley also had announced via Facebook that he was entering the race. Current state GOP chair Steve House announced in January he is not seeking another term.