Centrist Project Announces Steering Committee & New Hires

By Kyle Butts on September 21, 2017

Denver, CO – The Centrist Project announced today the formation of a steering committee and the hiring of new staff as part of its efforts to elect independent candidates to the Colorado state legislature in 2018.

“We’re excited to have extraordinary talent from across the political spectrum join our team to help elect independent candidates who are unbeholden to the party bosses and special interests,” said Nick Troiano, Executive Director of the Centrist Project. “Our volunteer steering committee and new staff demonstrate that we have the experience and know-how to recruit high quality candidates and run competitive campaigns to challenge the political status quo.”

Andrew Short is the group’s new Political Director. Short is the former Executive Director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Fund. There, he oversaw field operations, targeting, candidate recruitment, messaging, and fundraising for Senate Democrats. Prior to that, he was Statewide Field Director for the ACLU of Colorado, and also worked as a Field Manager for Working America, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

"I believe the best way to truly address the big problems facing our state is to send independent bridge-builders to the state legislature and find common sense solutions,” said Short. “Republicans and Democrats are far too often concerned with how to strengthen the party. Let’s strengthen the people. Let’s put Colorado out there as an example of how to get things done.“

Andy Szekeres has taken on the role of National Finance Director. Szekeres comes to The Centrist Project after leading development for the 8th largest cultural facility in the Denver Metro Area. Prior to his work in the nonprofit sector, Andy founded 3pg Consulting where he helped to raise $40 million for candidates, ballot measures, nonprofits and political action committees nationally.

“As someone who has helped to elect numerous members of the Congress, I am appalled at how polarized government has become. Our elected officials care more about grandstanding and political theater over what is right for the American public.  The Centrist Project is building the structure to elect independents who will govern and put the people before any party into office.”

Shelbi Lewark, former Regional Director with the Republican National Committee, has led candidate recruitment for the organization, and former GOP operative Joel Searby, who most recently managed Evan McMullin’s independent presidential campaign, continues to serve as Senior Advisor.

The Centrist Project also announced its Colorado Steering Committee, including:

  • Kathleen Curry, former State Representative

  • Cory Gilchrist, President, KCG Holdings I, LLC

  • Joshua Hunt, CEO, TRELORA

  • Jim Jonas, Advisor, Centrist Project

  • Mary Parker, former independent state representative candidate

  • Ben Reubenstein, CEO, POSSIBLE Mobile

  • Mary Smith, Founder, Greencroft Strategies

  • Zach Smith, President, Bristlecone Construction Corporation

  • Al White, former State Senator

  • Jean White, former State Senator

“If politics were a product, both parties would be out of business by now. It is time we have new competition in the political marketplace,” said steering committee member Joshua Hunt, Founder & CEO of TRELORA, a Denver-based real estate startup.

The Centrist Project aims to recruit and elect a slate of common sense independent candidates to the Colorado state legislature in 2018. These leaders will commit to putting people before party, following the facts, and working together to solve problems.

Independent voters are the largest (37%) and fastest growing segment of the electorate. There are 1.3 million independent voters in Colorado, yet zero independent members of the state legislature.

The Centrist Project has raised over $750,000in seed funding to support its candidate recruitment and grassroots activities this cycle, including from hundreds of grassroots members who are sending small dollar donations on a monthly basis.

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The Centrist Project strategically recruits and supports centrist, independent candidates for office. For more information, visit www.CentristProject.org/colorado.