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In a deep-blue city where Republicans make up only about 11% of all registered voters, the Denver GOP is attempting to shift its strategy to stay relevant.

Enter Garrett Flicker, the county party’s newly elected chair — who, at 25, is the youngest and first openly gay man to ever lead the group.

  • He also serves as vice president of the state chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans in Colorado, a national LGBTQ organization.

The state of play: With former President Trump out of office, the Republican Party is "flailing" in the midst of an "identity crisis," Flicker tells Axios.

  • But a lack of direction "gives us the opportunity to redefine what we are and what our role is going forward in Denver," the Colorado Springs native added.

The big picture: Colorado’s Republican Party is hemorrhaging voters and just elected a state party chair who rose through the ranks championing conservative social issues.

  • Flicker hasn't shied away from hot-button social issues, penning a Gazette commentary last month in which he wrote he believes transgender students should play organized sports in their own leagues.

What’s next: He wants to make inroads with Denver’s racial and ethnic minorities to build relationships and gain their vote.

  • "Republicans talk a big game about wanting to be in these groups, but we don’t host any events with them. ... It’s just super silly."
  • He also wants the party to target the 2023 municipal elections — specifically in an effort to unseat two self-identified Democratic socialists, City Council member Candi CdeBaca and school board member Tay Anderson.

The bottom line: "The Republican brand in Denver isn’t the most palatable," he said, acknowledging any road to regaining political power will be a long and rocky one.

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

Report: MLB relocating All-Star Game to Denver's Coors Field

A general view of the stadium as the Colorado Rockies takes on the San Diego Padres without fans in attendance during pandemic restroctions last August in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Major League Baseball is moving its 2021 All-Star Game to Denver's Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, on July 13, according to multiple reports Monday night.

Driving the news: After the MLB pulled the event from Atlanta over Georgia's new voting restrictions, a spokesperson for Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said last Friday he would be "burning up the phones" to bring the game to Denver.

John Frank, author of Denver
Apr 6, 2021 - Axios Denver

Denver homeless camp moving to church parking lot in affluent area

Park Hill Methodist Church on Montview Boulevard. Photo: John Frank/Axios

One of Denver's sanctioned homeless camps is relocating to Park Hill United Methodist Church — a move that puts it at the same location as a preschool.

Why it matters: The city's homeless problem is typically associated with the downtown sector, like the Capitol Hill neighborhood where the camp is currently located.

  • The new site — one block from U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper's home — will force residents in one of Denver's wealthiest neighborhoods to more directly confront one of the city's thorniest issues.
27 mins ago - Health

Understanding the unvaccinated

Expand chart
Data: Axios-Ipsos Poll; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The most hardcore opponents of coronavirus vaccination — the group who say they'll never get one — tend to be older, whiter and more Republican than the unvaccinated Americans who are still persuadable, according to an analysis of our Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: As the Delta variant triggers more COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, mostly among the unvaccinated, the Biden administration and even some high-profile GOP political and media figures are trying to figure out how to nudge the country's vaccination rate higher.