Wednesday, January 2, 2013

GOP chairman, Eli Bremer, will not seek re-election

Posted By on Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Eli Bremer
  • Eli Bremer

It's official, Eli Bremer will not be seeking a second term as chair of the county Republican party.

As we reported today, the current vice-chair, Dave Williams, and Republican operative Jeff Hays will be seeking the local GOP's top spot come February.

But according to Bremer, his work here is done. In an e-mail to the Indy, he wrote:

I was the right person to turn around the EPCGOP and have put them on the right track for long-term and sustainable success. However, best business practices dictate that the person who leads the turnaround is almost never the best person to run the organization long-term. I believe this is best accomplished by an experienced and mature leader with the personality and proven track record for bringing divergent groups together to work in harmony. The next Chair and leadership team will need to build on the success of my administration in running the organization.

Bremer's tenure was marked with a high-profile battle with the former party secretary, Sarah Arnold (nee Anderson) and vice-chairman Williams. This was a fight that we exhaustively reported.

Bremer made no direct mention of this turmoil; instead, he urges cohesion within the party:

On a side note, I believe the El Paso County Republican Party has big challenges ahead. Over the years, the EPCGOP and local Republicans have enjoyed much success with only a little effort in this county. The 2012 election showed that the Democrats have slowly made tremendous inroads locally (and around the state), and they have worked slowly and steadily to build a long-term campaign machine locally and around the state. Republicans here in El Paso must answer the challenge and continue building a continuous campaign effort through the EPCGOP. There are some who believe we can go back 10-15 years and debate who is the most "right" and win elections that way. I liken them to the generals who thought valiant charges over the trenches in WWI would lead to victory. Campaigning has changed, and El Paso has changed. The El Paso County Republicans can (and I believe will) step up to the challenge and continually fight for liberty, limited and well run government, and protection of the individual. So while a few Republicans want to move backward, I believe most want to embrace the challenges that face us and move forward toward victory in 2014 and 2016.

You can read Bremer's full e-mail after the jump.

I am not running for chair again. When I took over two years ago, the EPCGOP was nearly bankrupt and in terrible shape from the 2010 election cycle. Our volunteer moral was at all-time low, and nearly every donor had left the local Party. I set out to rebuild the business side of the EPCGOP which I assumed would take four years to complete due to the magnitude of the problems in the organization. We could not effectively focus on elections when I began because we were not paying our bills or properly conducting the basics of any business operation. In reality, largely because of the tremendous support from our Executive Director Bill Roy and some key donors, we were able to complete the organizational turnaround in under two years. I have not seen the final numbers, but it looks like we probably grew over 3000% in non-assembly revenue over the past two years. We have gone from no working phone or internet systems to a nearly new IT system integrated throughout the organization. We went from pen and paper accounting to cloud based and secure accounting. We protected the private information of several hundred thousand individuals who we keep records on at HQ. We increased volunteer training somewhere around 1000% and increased total volunteer turnout by at least 100% from what we can tell. Our precinct leader engagement and accountability nearly doubled the active involvement of precinct leaders from previous elections. Most importantly, we created longevity programs that are documented to give the EPCGOP consistency over time. Only through this can we evaluate our growth and determine what is working and what is not.

With this said, the EPCGOP is now an effective, efficient, and properly run non-profit that is viewed as a role model county party by many around Colorado. I have even presented to California Republican leaders on local activism and organization based on our success and setup running a local political operation. In just two years, we have gone from a nearly bankrupt and dysfunctional organization to a model of organizational management particular for a political or non-profit organization. It is an organization now poised to implement its mission for the next 10+ years.

I was the right person to turn around the EPCGOP and have put them on the right track for long-term and sustainable success. However, best business practices dictate that the person who leads the turnaround is almost never the best person to run the organization long-term. I believe this is best accomplished by an experienced and mature leader with the personality and proven track record for bringing divergent groups together to work in harmony. The next Chair and leadership team will need to build on the success of my administration in running the organization. In my estimate, it will take 2-4 years to completely build out the systems that Bill Roy and I have created to see substantial electoral impact. These systems should ensure Republican dominance for another decade in El Paso County. The next leadership team needs to stay committed to the current path of world-class operations and Republican development in El Paso County, or we will continue to lose ground to the Democrats.

On a side note, I believe the El Paso County Republican Party has big challenges ahead. Over the years, the EPCGOP and local Republicans have enjoyed much success with only a little effort in this county. The 2012 election showed that the Democrats have slowly made tremendous inroads locally (and around the state), and they have worked slowly and steadily to build a long-term campaign machine locally and around the state. Republicans here in El Paso must answer the challenge and continue building a continuous campaign effort through the EPCGOP. There are some who believe we can go back 10-15 years and debate who is the most "right" and win elections that way. I liken them to the generals who thought valiant charges over the trenches in WWI would lead to victory. Campaigning has changed, and El Paso has changed. The El Paso County Republicans can (and I believe will) step up to the challenge and continually fight for liberty, limited and well run government, and protection of the individual. So while a few Republicans want to move backward, I believe most want to embrace the challenges that face us and move forward toward victory in 2014 and 2016.

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