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Incumbent Derrick Wilburn endorses Sherrie Gibson for state GOP vice chair

Author: Ernest Luning - February 15, 2017 - Updated: February 15, 2017

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Incumbent Colorado Republican Party Vice Chairman Derrick Wilburn, right, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, endorsed Colorado Springs organizer Sherrie Gibson, left, the only announced candidate for vice chair in the April 1 leadership elections for the state GOP. Wilburn said in January he wouldn't seek a second term in the position. (Photos by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)
Incumbent Colorado Republican Party Vice Chairman Derrick Wilburn, right, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, endorsed Colorado Springs organizer Sherrie Gibson, left, the only announced candidate for vice chair in the April 1 leadership elections for the state GOP. Wilburn said in January he wouldn’t seek a second term in the position. (Photos by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

Incumbent Colorado Republican Party Vice Chairman Derrick Wilburn said Wednesday he’s endorsing Sherrie Gibson for the vice chair position in the upcoming state GOP leadership elections.

“I know what it takes to be effective in this role,” Wilburn said in a statement. “Sherrie is more than capable. I whole-heartedly offer an enthusiastic endorsement of Sherrie Gibson for vice chair.”

Gibson, a Colorado Springs-based campaign strategist, is the only announced candidate for the office, which will be decided at a meeting of the GOP’s state central committee.

Wilburn noted that Gibson has long served as a member of the executive committee of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, a nonprofit advocacy organization he founded. “Her combination of drive, determination and abundant natural leadership qualities helped propel the RMBC to a level of respect enjoyed by few others across the state of Colorado,” he said. “As vice chair she will do the same for our state party.”

Wilburn said in late January that he wouldn’t be seeking a second term as vice chair and wasn’t interested in running for chair of the state party, either.

Mark Baisley, a former vice chair of the Colorado Republican Party, endorsed Gibson when she announced her bid earlier this month, calling her “conservative, reliable and constructive.”

Gibson, a Navy veteran, last year mounted an unsuccessful primary campaign for the El Paso County Commission seat eventually won by former House Minority Leader Mark Waller. She served as chief of staff for Darryl Glenn’s U.S. Senate campaign up until the underdog won the primary last June. After that, Gibson worked with Denver-based political consultant Cheryl Fernandez to help Republican candidates for the fall election. She’s a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies and the Leadership Institute.

The state party’s incumbent secretary, Brandi Meek, a former chair of the Moffat County Republicans, is running unopposed for a second two-year term. The race for state chair features former congressional candidate George Athanasopoulos and former El Paso County GOP Chairman Jeff Hays in a contest that has turned contentious in recent weeks. Incumbent chair Steve House said in late January he wouldn’t be seeking a second term.

Republicans are meeting at the county level through February to elect officers and — in larger counties — pick bonus members to the state central committee. On April 1, that committee — made up of newly elected county officers, the bonus members and Republican elected officials — convenes for its biennial reorganization meeting, held this year at Englewood High School.

Colorado Democrats are likewise conducting county party meetings and are scheduled to hold their state reorganizational meeting on March 11 at the Marriott Denver Downtown.

ernest@coloradostatesman.com

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.