Letter from the Chair, October 23, 2017

October 23, 2017

Dear Fellow Republicans,                              

Registered voters in Elbert County have received ballots for the 2017 election.  There are a number of local school board elections.  Shown below are recommendations on the Republican candidates in each one.    

Party affiliation provides the clearest indication of a candidate’s values on fiscal accountability and the role of government.  Republican’s uphold the constitutional government that has made America the beacon of liberty and opportunity for mankind.  School choice, empowered parents, and respected teachers are critical, and values supported by Republicans.  Party affiliation helps us understand the approach to governing that the candidates will have if elected. 

Republicans oppose a Federal government imposed one-size-fits-all approach to education and support a broad range of choices for parents and children at the state and local level.  Republicans reject the imposition of national standards and assessments, encourage the parents and educators who are implementing alternatives to Common Core. 

School boards in our state, unfortunately, don’t list partisan affiliations for the candidates. It lets liberals and teacher unions win by stealth.  Here are the Republican (pro-freedom, pro-school choice, pro-3Rs, pro-America) contenders in our Elbert County communities.


Douglas County Schools (NW)

  • Ryan Abresch
  • Randy Mills
  • Grant Nelson
  • Debora Scheffel

Elizabeth Schools

  • Carol Hinds
  • Cary Karcher
  • Paul Benkendorf

Big Sandy Schools (Simla area)

  • Chad Maranville

Agate Schools

  • Jennifer Bracht
  • Doug Purdy

Limon Schools

  • Craig Bailey
  • J. Troy Jaklich
  • James Gillis
  • Theron Perry

Peyton Schools

  • Jim Eckelberry
  • Julie Mannering


Democrats and the media, with their “progressive” preference for government by expertise, elitism, and emotionalism, find parties inconvenient for all the same reasons that conservatives find them valuable.  
The left prefers the murky shadows of nonpartisanship to the sharp clarity of R versus D, brakes versus accelerator.  Don’t be fooled. They want you off guard for easier access to your wallet.

Mark your ballot thoughtfully and return it early and so it is returned NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 7. 


Tom Peterson

Chairman, Elbert County Republicans

[email protected]  (303) 229-6710

Letter from the Chair, September 15, 2017


From the Chairman:  Republicans Invite President Trump to Elbert County –
How do you think President Trump is doing?  Where does the Republican Party stand in its support of the President?  We continue to be asked those questions.  To make it very clear where we stand, at least as the Republican Party in Elbert County, we put our position down in writing.   The (Letter)signed by members of our Central Committee, indicates our “unwavering” support of the President and his agenda to Make America Great Again.  We invited him to be the guest speaker at our 2018 Lincoln Day Dinner and said we continue to be appalled by the lame stream media!  Chances are slim he will come out to little old Elbert County, but I’m glad we showed our support and gave him some encouragement.


Tom Peterson
Chairman, Elbert County Republicans
[email protected]  (303) 229-6710

Letter from the Chair, September 4, 2017


A Word From the Chairman:

Shattered is a pretty good title for the book about Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign for President. I thought it would be a quick 10 minute scan but I read it word-for-word, cover-to-cover. Written by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, the book was a behind the scenes look at the Clinton Campaign. For the most part, it was an objective overview of insights from those involved. For us Republicans, the main issue seems obvious, a flawed candidate who ran a troubled filled campaign. There were a few key takeaways, however, and here are my top 3.

  • When you don’t stand for anything, it’s hard to attract support. Although she had a lifetime to figure out what she stood for, the campaign (and the Democratic National Committee for that matter) struggled to define their values and message. The primary message was “I deserve it and he’s an idiot.” Stronger Together was the poll tested tagline that failed to draw the middle of the road voter. 
  • You run a risk when you give up on voters. The campaign was driven by polling and analytics. Where to go and what to say was based entirely on voter analysis. A decision was made early on to put the vast amount of resources into the major population centers. Drive voter turnout of the favorable demographics in the urban areas, especially low income and minority. The data was clear that it was a heavy lift to stray from the big cities and persuade the undecided rural voters (in areas like Elbert County) that Hillary was their candidate. The results proved them right. This strategy lead to vast swaths of rural America voting deep Republican red.
  • Russia is Fake News! The day after the election the leaders of the campaign huddled at their headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. They quickly agreed that the narrative of how she lost would be none other than Russia! The start of the biggest fake news story since the election. 

Although it is tempting to gloat in the Republican victory, the reality is we lost in Colorado. The changing demographics in the state combined with the all-out assault by the fake news media supporting the progressive liberal agenda means it will be more difficult to win moving forward. We need all the help and support we can to stop the growth of government, defend the Constitution, protect freedom, and elect a Republican Governor in 2018. 

Let me know if you are interested in getting involved and helping out.
Tom Peterson
Elbert County Republicans
(303) 229-6710, [email protected]

Letter From The Chair, August 12, 2017


We Thank Our County Commissioners:   

We have hit the 200 day mark since our 3 county commissioners 
took the oath of office in January.  Republican Commissioners Danny Willcox, Chris Richardson, and Grant Thayer have formed a great team 
and have already developed an impressive list of accomplishments.  Consider the following;  

  1. Three Commissioners working together in a very collaborative, professional manner for the good of the county's residents.
  2. Restructured BOCC meetings to provide for more discussion of issues prior to taking action and greatly increased opportunities for public input.
  3. Adopted policy for Strategic Planning to ensure the County Establishes and accomplishes measurable goals that support our vision, mission, and values.
  4. Established Contingency Fund ($500K) and Stability Fund ($3.2M) with initial proceeds from the Rush Creek Wind Farm.  These two funds will allow the county to continue to provide a consistent level of service to our citizens through any future economic downturns such as the recent housing slump.
  5. Roads – 
    1. Completed a complete Pavement Condition Assessment to determine the effectiveness of the current asphalt maintenance program and prioritize future projects.
    2. Approved traffic count studies for main gravel roadways and condition assessment of all county bridges to support a county-wide update of the current Western Elbert County Transportation Plan.
    3. Hired an experienced Public Works Director to oversee county road and bridge program.
    4. Published a series of three letters to our citizens outlining our road issues.
  6. Acquired the vacant Bank of the West Building at well below professionally appraised value without taking on any new debt and ensuring adequate space for county operations for decades to come.
  7. Converted potential minerals value into actual revenue ($90K) through leasing of minerals under county owned roads. 
  8. Continuing to review procedures for getting info to the public and public input and working to continuously improve.

 We thank Commissioners Richardson, Willcox, and Thayer for their hard work and commitment to conservative values.  We appreciate all they are doing on behalf of the citizens of Elbert County.

Tom Peterson, Chairman
Elbert County Republicans
(303) 229-6710 [email protected]

Letter From The Chair - July 28, 2017

Republican Values on Display – Western Conservative Summit 2017  

The 2017 Western Conservative Summit (WCS) was held at the Denver Convention Center on July 21 -23 and attracted several hundred attendees to what many consider the foremost conservative political event west of the Mississippi.  I particularly enjoyed the Friday evening program that included journalist Katie Pavlich, “Freedom (for citizens) is the basis of good government. More freedom results in less government.”  and 23 year old Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director of Turning Point USA“Two questions that refute socialism – Do you trust government to spend your money wisely?  Then why would you be in favor of more government?”  The highlight of the evening was US Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke.  He shared that “The war on energy is over!”  Revenue from offshore drilling is down from $18 B/year 8 years ago to $2.4 B today.  He said “We should produce energy on our land for the benefit of everyone."  "Our great land belongs to us!”  “I work for you.”    US Senator Cory Gardner spoke and defended his position on health care.  He mentioned that we need to “Reel in overregulation" and that “We don’t need more regulations to empower the government, but more regulations to empower the people.”      More Freedom, Less Government … core Republican values.  I encourage all to attend the WCS next year and get connected with the Centennial Institute.     

P.S.  On a side note, The Denver Post and the main stream media (CBS, NBC, ABC) covered the event and the headline news was not the policy issues but the 5 or 6 protesters (rumored to be paid) that collectively had 120 seconds of stardom.  Inaccurate, misleading, and biased – Fake News at its finest (or worst). 


Tom Peterson
Chairman, Elbert County Republicans

Letter From The Chair - June 20, 2017

One of the initiatives being implemented by new Colorado Republican State Party Chairman Jeff Hays is to connect personally with each County Party Chairman each month.  Jeff spent 30 minutes on the phone with me on Friday, June 16, and listened to what we are doing in Elbert County and offered suggestions.  He also shared some exciting new developments.  Jeff was one of 9 state party chairman (all from swing states) who met with the President earlier this month in Washington DC.  The relationship between the White House and the Republican National Committee is excellent and the RNC had a record quarter in fundraising.  Plans are being put into place for the RNC to work with the state parties to implement winning strategies to get Republicans elected.  Jeff was with us at our ECR Lincoln Day Dinner on May 6 and is committed to working with the county parties especially on voter registration and communication.  Suggestions, comments or to get connected visit www.cologop.org or on Facebook at Colorado GOP. 
Tom Peterson
Chairman, Elbert County Republicans

Elbert County Loves President Trump! June 15, 2017

A Word from the Chairman, June 15, 2017.  

Elbert County Loves President Trump!!  We had a great time at the Elizabash Parade & Street Fair on Saturday, June 3.  We thank the Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce for putting on such a wonderful event.  The response to our presence in the parade and at the booth along Main Street was tremendous.  The big Trump–Pence 4’x 8’ sign was visible at the exhibit booth and we had dozens of supporters come up and thank us for being present and offer words of encouragement and pledges of support for us and especially President Trump and his agenda to Make America Great Again!  

Supporters were generous in their donations and if we heard it once we heard it literally a hundred times – “I can’t stand to watch the Fake News mainstream media.”   Keep the faith, Elbert County Republicans, and continue to show your support for our President who is doing his best to Drain the Swamp of big government!  


Tom Peterson

Chairman, Elbert County Republicans



So, last night (February 17), I stayed up well past my bedtime and watched the President’s News Conference from earlier in the day.  It was fascinating.  President Trump started by describing all that he is doing to fulfill his campaign promises and implement his agenda.  He then opened it up to an extended unscripted Q/A with all his friends from the mainstream media (MSM).  He did a great job.  His focus on jobs, the economy, national security, building relationships with industry and other nations was impressive.  

Two takeaways:  The first was when he said, “I don’t have a problem with bad media, just so it is truthful.”  The second, “I’m amazed at the level of hate and hate filled attitude from those on the other side.”   The room was packed with reporters and it could have gone on for hours as virtually every one had a question.  Afterwords, I thought for sure there would be some positive coverage from what I considered an extraordinary exchange in which he was candid, forthright and compelling.  But, not the MSM.  Just like it was when he came to Denver last June, the coverage was all negative.  

Whether it be ABC, CNN, or whomever.  It’s clear that the other side, led by the MSM, not only oppose what he is doing, but have an all-out hate-filled approach to distort, degrade, and detract. In their eyes, he can’t do anything right and they are out to get him.  I’m glad he is speaking directly to the people and I for one need to take my red Make America Great Again hat off the dresser and put it back on and actively support our President who is doing exactly what he said he would do.  Think of the reaction from the other side and the MSM if just a fraction of the 62 million who voted for the President stood up and said enough is enough with the hate of a great man who is off to a great start.        

Tom Peterson


Chairman, Elbert County Republicans. 

Let me know if you have any comments.  [email protected]

Hide the Party to Shield the Principles

Hide the Party to Shield the Principles

Democrats Resort to Deceptive Campaign Tactics to Fool Elbert County Voters 

A common tactic employed by Democrat candidates in Elbert County is an appeal to Republicans. They work real hard to blend into the woodwork and give the impression they are supported by Republicans, that there is common ground and that despite political differences, they are the right person for the job. Really? If party affiliation doesn't matter, then why are they Democrats?? Let’s take a closer look.

Any candidate with a D for Democrat behind their name has bought into the Democrat Party Platform. If they didn’t support the platform, they wouldn’t be a Democrat. Open borders, universal health care, disregard for the constitution, control and restriction of the 1st Amendment (speech) and the 2nd Amendment (guns), protection and expansion of abortion rights, reduced military spending, and so on and so on. If you are a progressive-liberal it’s ALL GOOD! In fact, these local Democrats passed resolutions at their 2016 Assembly that supported these issues and many more that Republicans never would.

If Republicans are passionate for faith, family, and freedom, Democrats are passionate about finding a government solution for every problem known to mankind. Do you really trust the judgement of a county commissioner candidate who waved Obama for President signs at the corner of Highway 86 and County Road 13 in Elizabeth?? How about someone who is voting for Hillary Clinton and thinks she is trustworthy??

If the foundation of your candidacy (political aspiration) is the Democratic Party Platform, then you are out of touch with Elbert County. Maybe that is why Democrats in Elbert County have dwindled to a mere 13% of registered voters. This is hovering dangerously close to the minor party status and at the same time registered Republicans have increased from just over 50% to 55%.

Whether it is the school board, town council, or the board of county commissioners, a primary role of these elected officials is fiduciary or financial oversight. A Democrat would advocate to increase revenue (ie. raise taxes) to meet the funding shortfalls. The goal of a Republican is to cut expenses to stay within budget. The priority of a Democrat is more government and greater control. A Republican would advocate for a limited-constitutional government while empowering the individual through the protection of freedom and liberty. Clearly, two fundamentally different political viewpoints.

We see signs that say “Republicans for” the former chairperson of the Elbert County Democrats. No way! A stretch at best for a few loyal friends, but a campaign gimmick at worst. Reaching for campaign tactics that appear Republican friendly are only to shield the true identity of Democrat candidates that have bought into the progressive-liberal agenda of the Democrat Party.

There are three excellent Republican candidates for county commissioner. Fiscally conservative, consensus builders, with each having a positive vision for Elbert County. I hope you can join us on Thursday, October 6 @ 7pm, for our Republican Candidate Forum at Frontier High School. A forum to help you better understand who they are and their views on addressing the important issues that are impacting us in Elbert County. 


Tom Peterson

Chairman, Elbert County Republicans

Letter From The Chair 4.17.2016

State Assembly

Elbert County, State Assembly, Some of Elbert County Delegates

The Chairman's Blog:

These are interesting times in Colorado politics.  This past week I have heard different viewpoints from concerned party members. I consider these individuals good, rock solid, freedom fighting Republicans.  Some are fed up and angry. Others want to know how the process works and how it can be changed.  I've also heard from others who are unclear on what is going on.  These conversations prompted this posting. On one hand, I'm just another voice in the crowd.  On the other hand, as County Chairman, I can offer a perspective that might be of interest and/or helpful, to Republicans in Elbert County.  Here are a few observations. Please remember as the Republican Party Chair I am here to offer information so you as individuals can make informed decisions. 

*         There are varying perspectives from party members, some make an argument that the current system needs to change which would include a Presidential Primary. While others claim there is corruption and that party officials, the so called establishment, are manipulating results, compromising the voting process, are biased and show favoritism to various candidates.  Kurt Schlegel, an Elbert County Republican, and a Trump for President supporter who attended the State Assembly and elected at the Congressional District 4 Assembly as a Delegate Alternate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, has provided the attached viewpoint, (Colorado Politics-KCS-04-13-2016).  Kurt provides a supportive argument for the Presidential Primary process.  He also explains the current process and in his opinion, the rules were followed.  Attached are the rules that were approved for the Assembly (2016 State Assembly and Convention Proposed Rules).  Please review the attachments and form you own opinion.

*         Elbert County Republicans had 37 delegates and 20 alternates at the Republican State Assembly in Colorado Springs on Saturday, April 9.  Thirty five or so, approximately 2/3rds, were there for the first time.  This included 18 year old Sierra Hirsch from Precinct 2 - north of Elizabeth.  It was my first Assembly as County Chairman and I was impressed by the efficiency and professionalism of the Credentials Committee and the Teller Committee. There were over 600 nominations for delegates to the National Convention.  The National Delegate nomination and voting process was time consuming and tedious. 

*         An Assembly highlight for many was the nomination and acceptance speech process for US Senate.  There were eight candidates and going in no clear favorite.  Many thought that we might not have a single candidate get the required 30% on the first ballot to be on the June primary.  That is until Daryl Glenn spoke.  He grabbed the microphone and announced that he was a "unashamed constitutional Christian conservative" and walked off 10 minutes later to a standing ovation.  He received over 70% of the vote on the first ballot and his speech has gone viral, see below!!

Darryl Glenn 2016 CO GOP State Convention Speech 

It's anyone's guess what will happen in Cleveland and how the rest of the election process will shake out.   Moving forward, I do believe there will be plenty of discussion and a push to make Colorado a presidential primary state in 2020.  I do hope that a day will come, sooner than later, that we as conservative Republicans can work together to address the concerns that should unite us ....

Why are you a Republican?  I'm concerned with ....

*      the disregard of the US Constitution 
*      the erosion of our freedom
*      fiscal irresponsibility of government
*      the drifting away of an "In God We Trust" country 

Hope to see you at our Lincoln Day Dinner - 6:00pm, Saturday, April 30, 2016. 
Lincoln Day Dinner Link 


Tom Peterson


Elbert County Republican Central Committee