GOP holds Eagle caucus
EAGLE, Colorado – Don Olsen would like his Republican Party back. That’s why he came out to precinct caucus night at the Eagle County Fairgrounds on Tuesday.
Olsen, a longtime party member, said he grew disenchanted with the GOP during the last couple of years of the George W. Bush administration.
“It just seems like everyone’s playing games,” Olsen said. “I don’t like the phoniness in both parties.”
Olsen said he identifies with the idea of the national Tea Party movement, which has been calling for government to become more fiscally responsible. He hoped he could help change his party from the neighborhood up.
Max Schmidt, of Eagle, Colorado, said he’s been going to Tea Party and 9.12 group meetings. He said Eagle County Republican Party Chairman Randy Milhoan encouraged him to volunteer to help out on caucus night.
Like Olsen, Schmidt said he hoped he could start moving his party back to its roots.
“It’s partly about fiscal responsibility,” he said. “But it’s more about upholding the Constitution.
“The main thing is getting everyone who’s in there out.”
Quoting the old saw that holds the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, Schmidt said he believes government now fits that definition.
Andrew Osborne also described himself as disgruntled.
“I’ve been disgusted with both parties for a long time,” Osborne said. “I used to be a Libertarian, but I’ve changed. All a third party does is get Democrats elected.”
Aside from trying to change the party from within, Olsen said he wanted to hear from Charles Wolf, who’s challenging incumbent Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy for the Republican nomination for the office.
“I want to talk to him about medical marijuana,” Olsen said. “I think it can be effective, and I’ve read some things I’m not comfortable with.”
Walt Olsen, of Gypsum, wanted to meet Wolf, too, although he said he believes Hoy has “done a pretty good job.”
Walt Olsen said he wanted to get information about other candidates, too.
To that end, several local residents talked about candidates, either in statements or on behalf of people they know.
John Chizmadia, of Eagle, said he came out to learn more about the candidates, but he also wants to learn more about party strategy heading into this fall’s elections.
“We’ve got to get back on track,” Chizmadia said. “But I think we’ve got a 100 percent chance to do that this year.”