The contest to choose Colorado’s next secretary of state has attracted significantly more attention than in previous years, and for at least one candidate, the election for the Republican nominee may offer some insight into the state party’s future.
“It is not only an election for this race for the Republican Party, but it will decide our relevance in November and whether we are a party of the rule of law and a free democracy,” candidate Pam Anderson said on a podium. Foothills Republican.
Anderson’s statement was certainly directed primarily at one of her opponents, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters. The three GOP candidates for secretary of state, Anderson, Peters and businessman Mike O’Donnell, discussed their platforms in Lakewood on Thursday, ahead of the June primaries with all three candidates expected to attend such an event together.
Peters, who was elected to his office in 2018, continues to push a false narrative of widespread electoral fraud, despite evidence from other Republican clerks against it.
In March, Peters was indicted by a grand jury on charges related to an election security breach, and months earlier, was arrested for kicking at a police officer as investigators held a search warrant on his iPad. Was. A judge had also barred him from overseeing the 2021 and 2022 elections. But he told those present on Thursday that he had not broken any laws and that all these cases were just political attacks against him.
Clerk also claimed that in Colorado, “there have been leaders who have been elected, not elected,” and that only she can accept it and fix it.
In an interview with The Denver Post, Anderson responded to Peters’ claim, saying, “(Peters) was elected. So is she saying she wasn’t a duly elected official in a full up-and-down ballot? I think the competent election officials do not give their opinion on this process as to who wins or who loses, but based on verifiable evidence…”
Anderson is a former Jefferson County Clerk and former director of the Colorado County Clerk Association, who has stated that Colorado’s election systems are safe and secure, although he does not believe they are perfect, and that the 2020 presidential election was not rigged Was. A 2021 poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed that only a third of Republicans believed President Joe Biden was legitimately elected.
Throughout the event, Peters and Anderson directed their criticisms at each other – Anderson et Peters for allegations of breaking the law and election security violations, denial of training and relying on false rhetoric; And Peters et Anderson for his work on the board of a non-profit that took donations from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and split from what’s happening with election systems. Peters told attendees that he had not broken any laws and that the attacks against him were political.
Like Peters, O’Donnell is also an election denial who opposes vote-by-mail, alleging that the state’s electoral rolls are littered with problems. Although Anderson didn’t go as far as Peters and O’Donnell, even denying some of their claims or claims were false, she also told the crowd that Colorado’s automated voter registration system had problems and that she wanted to fix them.
All three candidates focused much of their attention on Democratic Secretary of State Jenna Griswold, who is running for re-election, saying Griswold had politicized her office and fueled distrust among voters. Peters, who cited continuing conspiracy theories by 2020 election detractors and unfounded research on fraud in Colorado’s election systems, said Griswold should go to jail.
But the Mesa clerk also tried to connect Anderson to Griswold, who he said has a lot more in common with the Democrats than either of them.
Peters won the majority of the vote for a seat in the Colorado Republican Party’s state assembly and convention, embracing the sentiments of other GOP candidates with electoral conspiracy theories. O’Donnell also went through assembly. Anderson, however, petitioned the ballot.
Colorado’s primary elections will be held on June 28, and those results will determine who will face Griswold in November’s election.