I'll be a steward of freedom

The people no longer know what Republicans stand for. Consequently, the people no longer stand with Republicans on Election Day. Editor: Such was the blunt diagnosis of Colorado GOP woes by a bold new voice in state party politics, Leondray Gholston of Aurora. He is a businessman, Navy veteran, Catholic layman, father of seven, and former chairman of the Colorado Black Republican Forum. As a late entry to the Republican National Committeeman race at the State Assembly on May 31, Leondray upset popular conservative state Sen. Dave Schultheis and scored a respectable second to former Treasurer Mark Hillman. The final numbers were 55% to 26% to 19%. His speech, which sounded even better in the hall than it reads here, left no doubt that more will be heard from this determined young man. Here it is:

Why I am running for national committeeman? Because freedom requires stewardship. Our Republican Party is the party of freedom.

We are a freedom-granting and liberty-loving people. From emancipation to the liberation of Kuwait, civil rights to the ouster of the Taliban, the party of Lincoln and Reagan has championed freedom.

At our core, the pillars of the Grand Old Party are to:

** Strengthen the free enterprise system,

** Optimize government to the lowest practical level,

** Advance fiscal responsibility, and

** Protect the rights of the individual.

Can there be any cause more noble or worthy of our efforts?

Each of these planks has a direct corollary in freedom. Keeping government out of our pockets, away from our opportunities, and from trampling our rights have always been the hallmarks of the GOP.

Of late and especially in Colorado, we have seen a dramatic reversal of fortune. Nearly everything we once were politically has been washed away. One has to question why this has happened.

I believe… it is because we have lost sight of our most sacred charge, trust, and charter, that being to defend and extend freedom we have allowed ourselves to become the “anti” party. The people no longer associate us with liberty. The people no longer know what Republicans stand for. Consequently, the people no longer stand with Republicans on Election Day. We must regain our true title and mission as the defenders and extenders of freedom

So what does this have to do with National Committeeman? Many consider this office to be largely honorary and at its best a fundraiser.

I see this post as an opportunity to lead!

If we as a party are to return to our recent and rightful position of dominance at the ballot box, we must have leaders in and leadership from every position. The Colorado National Committeeman is no exception.

It is this leadership that must find a solution for funding every race. There are about 1.1 million registered Republicans in Colorado. If each of us were to write a check every 1st of January for a whopping $50, our coffers will burst to the tune of 110 million dollars per election cycle.

Imagine as a party being able to provide $12 million for US Senate races and $2.5 million per US House race. Now imagine $32 million for the election of Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer and Attorney General.

Picture Colorado Republicans challenging every state senate and state house seat with $500,000 and $200,000 respectively. This scenario is within our capability. The price tag… $50 a year and a love of freedom.

We must choose today a new path, a path that ever points to liberty. There is and of right should be no other choice.

Now is the time for leadership. Now is the time for vision. Now is the time for the drive to make that vision, our reality.

Every position in our party must be filled by a leader. A leader that understands our ultimate objective, above raising money or even beating the democrats, is to extend freedom.

A free society requires a constitutional, just, and limited government, a strong defense, and an educated public. As your national committeeman I will be a steward of freedom. Armed with this message of freedom I will work to fill our coffers, increase republican registration, and shape the party of tomorrow.

I am Leondray Gholston, I ask for your vote and support. May God bless you, this assembly, and our beloved Republic.