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Douglas County Republicans' John Ransom turns down chance to crow about school-board victories

Update.: Several hours after this blog was published, Douglas County Republican Party chairman John Ransom gave me a shout after all. Look below to read about the events that preceded his call as well as his subsequent comments...

Original post: Some guys are sore winners.

In an October 26 blog, we told you about the Douglas County Republican Party's decision to back a slate of candidates in a typically nonpartisan school-board election -- a move promoted by DCRP chairman John Ransom via a remarkable e-mail that made the situation seem much like Red Dawn, except with Douglas County as the United States and outsider liberals playing the role of the invading Soviet hordes. Well, the approach appears to have worked: Unofficial but pretty convincing results from last night show the Republicans' choices winning amid a huge turnout by school-board election standards.

Most politicos would love to bask in the glow of such a victory. But Ransom, who was snappish and suspicious in his interview with yours truly for the aforementioned post, replied to an interview request this morning with a text saying he was in meetings all day and didn't have time. When I replied that it would only take two minutes and thanked him for considering the request, he responded with two words: "No thanks."

Don't know if you think I'm a commie, too, Mr. Ransom, but I'm not! I love America! I swear!

11:53 a.m.: After receiving my "no thanks" from Ransom, I left a message for DCRP's vice chairman, Mark Baisley, asking for him to say a few words since the man one slot above him in the party hierarchy had declined to do so. He phoned back an hour or so later, following the blog's publication, to say he couldn't do so -- because Ransom had been designated as the organization's spokesperson. However, he noted that he'd chatted with Ransom, who said he'd make himself available for comment.

Cut to a short while ago, when Ransom rang up and declared that he had "three minutes" -- one more than I'd requested. Here's what he had to say during that span.

About the election: "The results mean parents and children will continue to have lots of education options here in Douglas County. The voters spoke, and spoke pretty loudly -- and I think everybody should listen to what they have to say."

On the question of whether parties in other counties should follow Douglas' lead and endorse candidates: "I'm not going to tell other counties what they ought or ought not to be doing with their elections. That's for them to decide. But clearly, the idea that these aren't partisan elections is a joke."

In regard to Douglas County backing more school-board candidates in future elections: "We're going to continue to hold all of our elected officials, including school-board members, responsible for keeping their campaign promises. That's our job in Douglas County. When they campaign as Republicans, we're going to hold them to that."

Total elapsed time, according to the timer on my phone: two minutes, forty-six seconds. Made it!

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts