Elections, Exclusives, Politics

Lockwood: A 21st Century GOP; why I’m running for Colorado State Chair

(Editor’s note: All candidates for Colorado Republican Party State Chair have been invited to submit columns making their case for the position leading up to the March 27 election. Candidate Kristi Burton Brown’s is available here. Candidate Scott Gessler’s is here.)

A 21st Century Republican Party with spirit and solutions will improve the lives and livelihoods of all Coloradans. We do this by taking responsibility to expand our Party and by electing leadership equipped with the natural abilities to navigate today’s ecosystem. Leaders of the future must architect and advance solutions and success, to hold accountable those with power, privilege and position.

As sovereign beings we have the right to self-determinism, for equality under the rule of law, and for freedom to attain well-being and fulfillment. We must tap into this higher drive and meaning if we are ever to transcend our chaotic politics to transform our state and our nation. My purpose is for this idea to be our guide.

As the chair of the Colorado Republican Party, the first thing I will do is update and re-engineer the Party apparatus. All of the Party’s technology, including digital and social, must be brought into the 21st century. Every county party should be equipped with a streamlined, uniform website and social platform with the apps and support needed to easily distribute polished, professional communications. Aesthetics and professionalism matter. I will sit down with every county party to deep-dive into what is needed and wanted and ensure that they have the resources they need to organize and mobilize for success. We will have a GOP Bootcamp, with drills and training to equip leaders and their support with the hard skills to handle media, rallies, protests, communications and technology, and fundraising.

As a leader, manager, strategist and communicator I’ve helped save taxpayers billions of dollars a year. Take for example, I spearheaded the opposition to ColoradoCare (Amendment 69) a killer proposal that would have tripled Coloradans taxes to pay for a 26-member board of political appointees to be in charge of at least $25 billion a year budget, with health governance power and no oversight. I helmed ad campaigns, toured the state and collaborated with physicians and community leaders, and debated senators and public figures across the state and at Anschutz Medical Campus. I was the highest profile voice against the proposal and innovated a campaign that pulled Planned Parenthood, ProgressNow and NARAL to oppose the proposal. We defeated this health care killer 80 to 20 percent.

An ad campaign I crafted against the Iran nuclear deal was followed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and landed Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., on the list of vulnerable Democrats that cycle. The $46,000 ad buy on ABC, CBS and NBC generated $1.2 million worth of coverage from Israel to New Zealand. Working with firearms manufacturer Radian Weapons, we used similar strategies and tactics to defeat a package of anti-self-defense legislation that would have restricted the right to carry pepper spray in public buildings and would have eliminated concealed carry in “spaces adjacent to public spaces,” and more. I’ve killed legislation with single press releases, from a coffee tax to a hospital tax. Using this kind of disruptive communications strategy, I was able to force Obama’s interior secretary Sally Jewel to meet with county commissioners she was ignoring in Colorado—saving the Colowyo coal mine.

We have to be the party of accountability. It takes talented, strategic and wise expertise. We can’t stop at taxes and firearms though. We have to be the party of humanitarian action. That means standing up for children, veterans and seniors.

We must be causative, not reactive.

Take for example: During the recalls of then-Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, center-right groups worked together. I ran a team of a dozen young activists and professionals on the ground in both cities monitoring the polls and catching Democrats up to no good.  This and killing a huge tax hike, Amendment 66, were made possible because we were united, prepared and causative—and because, like in the other roles I’ve held, I held a key leadership role and was instrumental in strategy, communications and management.

With me as state chair, every county party will have an empowering leader who is an effective strategist, manager, and communicator, who they can learn from and replicate themselves the successful actions I took to achieve and create success for conservative solutions for Colorado. We need a strong, equipped and capable grassroots army that can operate as a united front, but also independently, dynamically and nimbly to disrupt the status quo and make gains.

Let’s plan for success. Let’s innovate. Let’s expand our party’s reach and influence. You can learn more about my vision, experience and statements at lockwoodforcolorado.com.

Jonathan Lockwood has been a management and communications consultant for a multitude of public figures, attorneys and organizations. He earned his master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications at Georgetown University and his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Metropolitan State University of Denver. He completed fellowships in management, communications and policy with the Charles Koch Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council, and sits on the national board of policy advisors for the Heartland Institute. 

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