GOP county chair resigns



Kay Rendleman, El Paso County Republican chairwoman, has resigned her seat effective Sunday to take over as campaign manager of Ken Buck's U.S. Senate bid.

"I have a lot of experience with managing grassroots-oriented campaigns, and I'm very excited about bringing that experience to help Ken Buck," she said in an interview.

Rendleman's replacement will be elected by the local Republican Central Committee on June 5, she said, and vice chair Ryan Parsell will be acting chairman in the meantime.


Rendleman started her political career as one of four paid staff members for the Reagan for President primary campaign in California in 1980. She also worked as a field staff member for Reagan's general election campaign overseeing 11 California counties.

She worked as the statewide volunteer coordinator for a U.S. Senate campaign and helped with Bob Dole's presidential bid. Her background also includes work on two proposition campaigns as a paid staffer and on several state assembly races in California. She coordinated Ken Lambert's state legislative campaign here.

Rendleman moved to Colorado in 2002 and served as the volunteer coordinator for the 2002 cycle. "I got right to work," she says.

She said a friend asked if she would be interested in working on Buck's campaign. After she expressed interest, Buck called her. "I've seen him many times coming through here and have been very impressed with Ken."

Rendleman's resignation has caused a stir among local Republicans, some of whom aren't happy to see the county chair resign in the midst of an unfinished two-year term to take sides in what is likely to be a divisive battle for the Senate GOP nomination. Former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton also is running. Moreover, several other Republicans face primary opponents, including in the governor's race and El Paso County sheriff, and when the chairman flies the coup, insiders say, it makes it more difficult to keep the party on track during election season.

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