Apr 7, 2021 - News

Denver GOP’s new leader wants to shift the party's post-Trump outlook

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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