El Paso GOP chair, elected just months ago, announces he’ll step down

Author: Dan Njegomir - September 1, 2017 - Updated: September 1, 2017

El Paso County GOP Chair Trevor Dierdorff (Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette)

Trevor Dierdorff, elected as a “political outsider” in February to chair the El Paso County Republican Party — the state’s largest county-level GOP — says he will step down next month.

In an email late Thursday to the county party’s executive committee, Dierdorff says his resignation “will formally take effect at the adjournment of the Executive Committee meeting next month.”

Also in his email to executive committee members:

My reasons for stepping aside are largely personal, and I am looking forward to having more time and energy to devote to my family and business.  I believe this is a practical time for a leadership transition with the conclusion of the Lincoln Day Dinner, and six months lead time until the 2018 caucus.

Since being elected in February, I cut our operational expenses by 50% over last year and the party will have the financial resources to pay our bills through the caucus, so my successor will be able to focus on the 2018 election immediately.  I am happy to leave that legacy, though I had hoped to do more.

It has been a privilege to work with the great Republicans of El Paso County, and it is with a heavy heart that I am stepping aside. I expect to stay involved with the Republican Party and be a strong contributor to the effort to elect a Republican Governor in 2018. …

In March, Dierdorff fatally injured a pedestrian in downtown Colorado Springs after accidentally backing his car into him while parking. The pedestrian, longtime Platte Floral owner Mel Tolbert, 79, and Dierdorff were friends who had been meeting for breakfast that morning. Although Colorado Springs police initially announced Dierdorff would be cited for careless driving causing death, District Attorney Dan May dismissed all charges  in part because Tolbert, who died of his injuries April 2, was jaywalking 25 feet from the crosswalk.

While running for chair, the 45-year-old Colorado Springs tech entrepreneur had touted himself as  “a businessman … a political outsider.”

Reached for comment, Colorado state GOP Communications Director Daniel Cole said there are two ways to replace Dierdorff: The vice chair can succeed with a 2/3 vote at an executive committee meeting, or the central committee can elect a new chair with a simple majority. Cole said county Republican Vice Chair Josh Hosler has said he is taking the long weekend to think about whether he will run for chair.

Cole, who previously had served as the El Paso County GOP’s executive director, had praise for Dierdorff.

“He is leaving the county party on solid footing. It’s financially stable and chock-full of volunteers raring to win in 2018. Dick Cheney once said that the county party chairmanship is the most difficult job in politics. We owe Trevor a debt of gratitude for his willingness to shoulder the burden as long as he did.”

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is a blogger and opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.