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Thirty-six hours after Republicans suffered historic election losses in Colorado, and as elected members were regrouping, state Rep. Richard Holtorf, of Akron, framed the party’s position in heroic terms.

“I think of the Spartans and Leonidas, as the Persian army comes down to take over and destroy Greece and Sparta,” Holtorf said, referring to the legend of a vastly outnumbered – and doomed – group of Spartans who fought to hold off their opponents.

It was the first public regrouping of elected Colorado Republicans after an election that one described as a shellacking. The Republican candidates for the state’s top offices had just been swept, some by double-digits, by Democratic incumbents. Hopes on Tuesday that the GOP would narrow the Democrats’ majority in the state House of Representatives and maybe even flip the state Senate materialized Wednesday as losses.

The party, several officials said, must now undertake a full rebuild of its brand and approach in Colorado. While elected Republicans like Holtorf will face the immediate effect of this electoral failure, the losses were so historic that many of the party’s members are confronting an existential question: What’s next for Colorado’s Republican Party? If it can’t win now — in a midterm in which the dominant topics are bread-and-butter Republican issues like crime and the economy — when can they?

“Just about every Republican strategist, consultant, elected official and leader is asking right now: What’s the path forward?” Sage Naumann, a Republican consultant who’s recently worked in the state Senate and for U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea.

He characterized the election as one of “the most historic losses our party has ever endured,” one with few, if any, silver linings.

— Full story via Nick Coltrain and Seth Klamann, The Denver Post 

After midterm shellacking, what now for Colorado Republicans?

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