Newcomers plentiful at GOP convention

LOVELAND — Mesa County Republicans had the front row at the Colorado State Republican Convention in the Budweiser Events Center and many of them, like others around the state, were active for the first time in politics.

“I believe the silent majority has got to stand up,” said Thomas Peeso, a first-time delegate.

Matt Smith, a veteran of several conventions and a former state representative from Grand Junction, said he was struck by the number of newcomers when first-timers were asked to stand by state party Chairman Dick Wadhams.

“This is the biggest crowd I’ve seen in some time,” Smith said of the delegates. “The first- timers are the most I’ve ever seen.”

One of the newcomers, Karen Kulp of Grand Junction, said the tea-party influence was clear in the attendance at the GOP convention.

“The tea party is a movement, it’s an idea. It’s not an individual and it’s making a change, and you can see it,” Kulp said.

Delta County also was feeling the enthusiasm, county Chairman Don Suppes said. All of Delta County’s 35 delegates and 35 alternates attended either the 3rd Congressional District assembly or state convention, ensuring full representation for the county, Suppes said.

“Everybody is pretty fired up,” Suppes said.


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