Just about the least thankful job in Colorado politics these days is Chairman of the Larimer County GOP. In the Fort Collins Coloradoan yesterday, Bob Moore continued his exposé on the alleged crimes of the previous Larimer GOP Chairman, Larry Carillo, but never once mentioned the man cleaning up the mess left by Carillo.
That would be Tom Lucero, a former CU Regent and candidate for the 4th Congressional district in 2010. We praised his election to head the post-Carillo Larimer GOP in March, saying:
"Lucero is savvy, smart, very political and puts an unassuming and kind face on a brass tacks partisan style. Not only will he balance the books, he will also kick the living shiz-nit out of the Democrats."
Thus far, Lucero has lived up to the high praise, moving quickly to institute multiple layers of financial oversight and raise the funds needed to cover all outstanding debts.
Lucero's leadership has given the Larimer GOP a direly needed boost of credibility, helping lure both freshman Congressman Cory Gardner and conservative talk radio rock star Hugh Hewitt to fundraisers for the county party.
Already, Lucero has spearheaded fundraising that has wiped out the Party's $13,000 in debt, and put $3,000 in the bank. He has also hired a professional campaign finance company, Polifi, to handle future reporting, ensuring egregious mistakes made under Larry Carillo will not happen again.
While a warrant has been issued for Larry Carillo's arrest for his alleged felony theft from the Party, Lucero has the thankless task of cleaning up the mess. Carillo has set up the Larimer Republicans to potentially owe over $200,000 in fines. It marks him as the worst county Chairman in modern Colorado political history.
Thankfully, Lucero has stepped up the plate and dealt with the situation with both eyes wide open. In an email to Larimer Republicans he acknowledges the damage Carillo has inflicted on the "Larimer GOP brand," and hopes the continued efforts at cleaning up the mess in a transparent and open manner will help undue some of that damage.
As Larimer has proved to be a pivotal swing county in statewide races in the last few cycles, Republicans can be thankful that this tale of two chairman is moving forward on a positive note.