MONTE VISTA — At least 325 people attended the Lincoln Day Dinner at the Outcalt Event and Conference Center at SLV Ski Hi Complex, on Saturday, May 14. The annual dinner was sponsored by San Luis Valley GOP and include several Republican candidates on the campaign trail.
The conference room was decorated with red, white, and blue, and large posters of several of the guest speakers that were at the dinner.
Fifteen Colorado Republican candidates were at the dinner including Senator Cleave Simpson (District 35), gubernatorial candidate Greg Lopez, state House of Representative candidate Carol Riggenbach, and U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Boebert R-CO-3 who was the evening’s keynote speaker.
Tickets for the event were $50 each, VIP tickets were also available and included a VIP reception for $75. Silent and live auctions were also held complete with Elk pictures, a homemade blanket, and a homemade coconut cream pie made by Glenna Mitchell that sold for $300 to Bob Mativee.
The dinner began with Kristi Burton Brown. Brown is a Colorado Chair holder.
“I was here last year, congratulations on a wonderful turnout again this year. This is what we need to see in an election year across Colorado. There is no doubt that for Republicans to win we have to turn out every possible vote,” Brown said.
Brown said that it was important for everyone who is Republican to vote in the November election, and even for unaffiliated parties to know that Democrats were destroying Colorado. Brown said that Colorado was the highest state in the nation in auto theft (per capita in 2021) and bank robberies.
Brown shared that her car was recently stolen and that she was pleased that it was recovered within two hours. Brown also said that Republicans want to change all of this and prioritize public safety, and back law enforcement officers more.
Brown said that Republicans also want to make Colorado affordable again and help working families afford everything they need to. She ended her speech by saying, “Thank you for staying in the fight, we are going to do everything we can to help Colorado.”
Sen. Simpson also spoke at the dinner. Simpson spoke about the 120 days of bills being passed and processed into Colorado’s government. The period recently ended on Wednesday, May 11.
Simpson was disappointed with one bill, in particular, the Reproductive Health Equity Act.
“It was the saddest day for me when Colorado passed the most permissible abortion rights in the United States and put us on par with China, North Korea, and Vietnam,” Simpson said.
Simpson went on to say that he agreed with Brown that it was important to get those votes in November.
Candidate for the House of Representatives District 62 seat, Riggenbach also spoke at the dinner.
“This is a skilled position, and they need somebody with experience. It just so happens that God has blessed me with that experience,” Riggenbach said. “For the last 30 years, I have been a nursing home administrator. So, I’ve got health care experience and I can go toe to toe with the healthcare departments. It is important that we not lose our medical freedom.”
Riggenbach also spoke of the importance of having someone with agriculture and water experience and explained that she had both. Riggenbach thanked everyone and asked everyone to pray for her as she walked into this journey of trying to become a representative for District 62.
Lopez also spoke at the meeting. Lopez explained how he had experience as a leader as he was both the City Manager and the Mayor for Parker.
“I’m here to tell you that our finest hours are on the horizon,” Lopez said. “We must band together. Our message must be one of hope, inspiration, and showing people that the Republican party has the right narrative to make Colorado great again.”
He also stated his concerns about the water exportation from the San Luis Valley that Douglas County was trying to make.
“I am not happy when I hear that Douglas County is currently trying to take your water out of the San Luis Valley, that is just wrong,” Lopez said. “Water is gold, you don’t take water from one basin and take it to another basin. So, how are we going to win? First, we must have a candidate who can get all the votes in. We must have a candidate who can take votes away from Governor Polis and that’s me.”
Keynote Speaker Boebert blamed Democrats for taking peoples’ freedom away and said Republicans were the solution.
“Government was created to secure our freedoms and to keep you free. The Democrats took that freedom away from you,” Boebert said. “The Democrats shut down small businesses, kept your kids out of school, and threatened jobs. A lot of people have lost their jobs due to unconstitutional medical mandates. Those same corrupt dirty, filthy, politicians are asking you for re-election. I think they need to get the heck out of there. I am so happy that we have had so many wonderful candidates standing here before you this evening. That is what this is about, each and every one of us getting involved and doing our part to be a part of the solution.”
Boebert said Democrats tried to remove qualified immunity from police officers. According to governedlaw.org, qualified immunity is a judicial doctrine that shields state and local officials, including police officers, from liability, even when they break the law.
“These are the kind of attacks that come from the Democrat party on a regular basis,” Boebert said. “We can fix this, we can turn it around, working together. We can save our nation and see the glory of God right here in America.”
Boebert also said she was trying to put a stop to Douglas County taking water out of the San Luis Valley.
“The fight is not over, and it will continue,” Boebert said. “You have a wonderful Senator in Cleave Simpson who has been fighting for your water every step of the way. I am so honored to work alongside him.”
The dinner concluded with the song “God Bless America.”
Resident Jessica Powkaski attended the banquet with her father Aaron and said, “I am here because I am interested in all of this. I am 18 and I am able to vote. I came to see Lauren Boebert. I encourage people who didn’t attend tonight to be aware of what’s going on and to take a stand.”