Colorado Springs, Colo. ( Associated Press) — Colorado Republicans voted a state representative in their U.S. Senate primary on Saturday, joining a Jan. 6 rally that preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol and denounced former President Donald Trump’s lies. is a supporter. About the 2020 presidential election.
The gathering marks a significant step toward securing the party’s nomination to face Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett in November. State Representative Ron Hanks was the leading choice of 3,700 delegates in the state GOP’s assembly, securing 39% of the vote. His only GOP rival in the June 28 Republican Senate primary will be businessman Joe O’Day, who chose to circulate petitions to go to the ballot rather than go through the assembly.
“I fully expected Donald Trump to win in 2020 — and he did,” Hanks, who has made the election his central issue, said to thunderous applause from a crowd at an arena in Colorado Springs. “When we saw what we saw on election night in 2020, it changed everything, just like we realized after 9/11.”
The gathering showed how central Trump’s election is to the party, even as repeated audits and reviews – including Trump’s own Justice Department – found no significant voter fraud in the contest.
The assembly passed a resolution calling for an end to Colorado’s universal mail voting system, whereby a ballot is sent via mail to each voter.
Hanks’ supporters also rallied around Tina Peters, a clerk in western Colorado County who has been indicted for her alleged role in copying confidential voting data that has been widely posted online by Trump supporters.
Peters, who was barred by a judge from overseeing last year’s local elections, is running for the GOP nomination for secretary of state, Colorado’s top elections office. She won 61% of the vote in Saturday’s events. Two other Republican candidates—businessman Michael O’Donnell, who came second in Saturday’s assembly, and Pam Anderson, a former suburban county clerk who avoided the assembly and petitioned in support of his candidacy—are also eligible for the GOP nomination. to be on the June ballot. ,
Greg Lopez, the former mayor of a Denver suburb, was the top vote-getter for the party’s gubernatorial nomination after promising to pardon Peters if elected governor. He and Heidi Ganahal, a member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, will face off in the June primary. The winner will challenge Democratic Gov. Jared Polis.
Candidates for statewide office must receive support from at least 30% of delegates to be put on the primary ballot, or circulate petitions gathered in each of the state’s eight congressional districts. Five other Republican Senate candidates split the remaining votes equally, with none clearing the significant 30% threshold, ending their campaigns.
An Air Force veteran and former military intelligence officer, Hanks has become a polarizing figure in Colorado politics after winning election to the Statehouse in 2020. He has made questioning the election his top issue, visiting a precarious, Trump-backed review of the election. Arizona’s largest county and filed suit against the state’s Democratic Secretary of State, Jenna Griswold, to force a similar review of Colorado’s election system.
His rival, O’Dea, has instead focused his campaign on economics and social issues.