Following the breakfast I had the opportunity to sit down with Matt Benson, reporter of the Fort Collins Coloradoan.
By mid-morning it was on to Greeley for a live appearance with talk show host Amy Oliver of 1310 KFKA. While I have appeared on Amy's show on a half a dozen occasions during this past year, this was my first live opportunity to exchange ideas with Colorado's version of a cross between Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter. Amy's show was about 40 minutes in length and we covered virtually every topic including taxes, the economy, education, and immigration. It's often hard to make this statement, but Amy and I agree on virtually every important issue facing Colorado's future.
Next it was lunch with the Weld County Republican Women. During lunch I had the pleasure of sitting together with my close friend Senator Dave Owen, a fiscal conservative, and guardian of the taxpayer. It was a pleasure to join 40 of Weld County's outstanding activists including Republican County Chairman Darrell Call and Perry Buck, the new State GOP Vice-Chair. It was an excellent opportunity to discuss my proposal to that would require 65% of education dollars from our K-12 budget be earmarked for the classroom. Currently in Colorado, we spend only 57 cents in the classroom. My plan would move more than $480 million away from bureaucracy, overhead and administration and into teacher training, teacher salaries, after school programs and the real work of educating our children.
Following lunch it was off to an interview with Doyle Murphy of the Greeley Tribune. Doyle and I had the opportunity to discuss my strong opposition to Referendums C and D and how as Governor I will go about much needed structural reform for our budget process.
Mid afternoon took us to Southern Weld County for a meeting with Steve Curtis in Firestone. Under Steve's dynamic leadership as Republican State Chairman in 1998, we Republicans won the governorship and both houses of the legislature by impressive margins for the first time in 24 years. It was a huge gain for our campaign to receive Steve's endorsement and personal support. He and I were recently together at the Colorado Right to Life banquet. Steve is a respected leader on this and many important issues facing Colorado.
Catching a short nap en route, it was on to Evans in Northern Weld County for the highlight of our week. Mark and Dora Fauth, our county leaders in Weld County, hosted a chili supper for our supporters. Eighty-nine committed Holtzman for Governor supporters came to dinner to express support and enthusiasm for our campaign! Mark and Dora were there with their five children (with number 6 on the way). This gathering was full of excitement and energy.
Thanks to Mark and Dora's outstanding leadership and support, I have no doubt that we will strongly carry Weld County. Most participants agreed to host a Meet and Greet, post yard signs, and eagerly took bumper stickers and campaign brochures. Many signed up to be a part of our Weld County Leadership Team. I was particularly grateful to have met Dan Rhodes, who volunteered to become a key part of our leadership team and is in the process of arranging to host his own Meet and Greet for me. After dinner, Jesse, Jeff and I boarded the RV for the two hour journey to Sterling.
On Tuesday morning, Bo Cottrell, former Arapahoe County Republican Chair and supporter extraordinaire, met us at the famous J&L Cafe for a breakfast meeting with Logan County's Republican leadership. Greeting us briefly was my old friend Laurie Jones, a dynamic entrepreneur whose husband Dale is now mayor of Sterling. During breakfast it was nice to discuss a vision for our party and our state. Water and natural resource management was top on the list. Deb Carlstrom, Phillips County Republican GOP Chairman, joined us as well. After our discussion I moved about the Cafe.
Jeff was good to move ahead to pass my brochures around the restaurant and I met at least 30 patrons. Most impressive was Bill Bornhoft and his son Gerry who are partners in Sterling Ethanol, a $30 million new ethanol producing facility about to soon open its doors. Sharla Cikes from the Sterling Journal-Advocate joined us at breakfast.
Next it was on to Julesburg, traveling further northeast, just miles from the Nebraska border. Claudine Kappius and her husband Robert were kind enough to host lunch where we met with Randy Renquist. Randy is our Holtzman County Chair for Sedgwick County. Following a tour of the courthouse where we met most of the elected county officials including: Clerk and Recorder Patrice Carter, Deputy Assessor Karon Johnson and the Undersheriff Delbert Ewoldt.
Then it was on to the local Heavy Equipment Training Academy. It is one of the most impressive facilities I have ever seen. This facility trains young teenagers who choose a different course other than college, to operate heavy machinery and equipment for jobs that pay up to $55,000 per year as a starting salary. Special thanks to Jim Row who was one of the driving forces in starting this institute and clearly makes a difference in the lives of many young people.
The afternoon took us to Schmidt's Pizza, a landmark in Holyoke. Karen Schmidt was delightful and hospitable in providing a venue for us to exchange ideas with a group of concerned citizens.
As if Schmidt's Pizza wasn't delicious enough, we boarded the RV to Wray for another Meet and Greet at Bob's Pizza Place. Here we were joined by Senator Greg Brophy and a number of supporters. After dinner Jesse, Jeff, Bo and I made the trek back to Denver.
Later in the week we headed back east to Fort Morgan for a delightful dinner with the leadership of the Morgan County Republican Party. Here I had some of the best prime rib at the Country Steak-out. Before dinner we dropped by the Fort Morgan Times for an interview with Chris Marchueso.