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Colorado Republican Establishment is the Biggest Loser at State Assembly

By Raina Lucero

April 13, 2022

The Colorado Republican Party gathered in Colorado Springs at the World Arena over the past weekend to conduct official party business.

The Multi-County District Assemblies were held Friday, April 8 at the Double Tree in Colorado Springs, CO. The first order of business was the State Central Committee Meeting followed by Congressional District assemblies.

The early morning of Friday April 8th began with delegates arriving to obtain credentials so that they may cast a vote for the candidates of their choosing in the Congressional District assemblies.

The highly controversial but ‘apple of the grassroot conservatives’ eye, Lauren Boebert, swept CD3. Boebert became well known and was subsequently elected in 2020 after fighting COVID 19 restrictions in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado.

In the CD4 race, Representative Ken Buck who did not receive a warm reception from the delegates in attendance, was not the shoe-in that many may have expected. Bob Lewis, an unknown candidate to some CD4 delegates, was nominated on the floor and took 62% of the vote. Lewis will run against Ken Buck on the primary ballot. Buck has been criticized for following the rhetoric that the 2020 election was the “Gold Standard.”

In CD5, incumbent Doug Lambourn protested the assembly and instead opted to petition his way onto the primary ticket in June 2022. Lamborn has become highly unpopular with the Republicans in his district and has gone as far as making a comment about the El Paso County Republican leadership saying, “I officially decline to be nominated at the upcoming 5th CD Assembly this Saturday. I continue to have complete confidence in the 5th Congressional District leadership. They represent the many solidly honest, hard-working people who live here. Sadly, I do not have confidence in the El Paso County Republican leadership.”

State Representative Dave Williams was, however, present at the CD5 assembly and secured his name on the primary ticket and will go head-to-head with Doug Lamborn.

Other names to emerge from the multi-county district assemblies were Rod Pelton who is running for the newly formed Senate District 35, and Ty Winters who will run for the newly created 47th House District.

Each of the candidates that were awarded a spot on the primary ballot on Friday may still face additional candidates as others have taken advantage of the process to petition onto the ballot and are waiting to confirm if the required signatures are validated, rather than face off with their opponents at the assembly.

The events that transpired at the Congressional District Assemblies set the stage for what would become one of the most volatile and charged Republican Assemblies that many could recall.

On Saturday April 9th Delegates and alternates, as well as candidates and their teams, gathered for the commencement of the Colorado Republican State Assembly.

A total of 4,743 delegates and 4,738 alternate delegates were authorized by the Colorado Republican State Central Committee for this Assembly. The final credentialling report for the assembly stated that there were a total of 3,772 delegates and alternate delegates who were credentialled and present to vote.

The Republican State Assembly kicked off with GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown (KBB) welcoming the delegates to the assembly and introducing the first speaker to the stage, Lauren Bobert.

Bobert, who was received by the crowd of nearly 4,000 as if she were a rock star gave an impactful speech full of jabs at the left and RINO’s (Republican in name only) of the right.

“Democrats are scared, they’re asleep, and we are awake and not ‘woke’,” Boebert declared.

“The left has tried to cancel us, they have tried to silence us, but we can’t be silenced,” she said, drawing more cheers.

“And cancel culture is nothing new ... They even tried to cancel Jesus, but you can’t cancel God,” Bobert stated.

Boebert, who is seen as a divisive figure even among people in her own party, was perceived as anything but that as she spoke to the crowd Saturday. She has been elevated to celebrity status as she has drawn attention to herself since her election by going as far as wearing a “Let’s Go Brandon” dress at a Mar-a-Lago event that former President Donald Trump attended, and most recently an outburst during the State of the Union Address given by current sitting President Joe Biden.

The crowd clung to every word Bobert said as she asked the crowd ostentatious questions like “Who wants to fire Nancy Pelosi?”

By the end of her speech, a fire had been set under the seat of the audience who gave a standing ovation, and many gathered to take photos with her as she exited the stage.

Following Boebert, the chairwoman KBB read the proposed rules of the assembly and announced that the votes for the candidates as well as the resolutions would be taken by electronic voting machines. At that point, the large crowd erupted in loud boos.

A delegate, who donned a cowboy hat, took to the floor and made a motion that would alter the rules of the assembly.

The motion included that voting would be done using paper ballots that were color coded and water marked. The ballots would be placed in clear ballot boxes. His motion was met with a roar of applause from the crowd who seemed to agree with the motion.

KBB informed the crowd that paper ballots were not accessible to the assembly and the party had done everything they could to ensure that their votes would be cast and tallied in a safe and secure way using clickers. KBB also instructed the audience that their votes would be auditable on the state GOP website to ensure that their “clicker” did in fact record the vote that the delegate cast. As of press time of this article no such audit or tracking has been made available as previously instructed by the chairwoman.

Though still referred to as a conspiracy theory and the “big lie” by members of both the left and right media, many within the Republican party believe that fraud involving the use of electronic voting machines stole the presidency from Donald Trump in 2020.

KBB noted that switching to paper would, “delay the assembly by an extremely long period of time.” She emphasized, “We need to select candidates and vote on six resolutions ... and we don’t have this building until midnight.”

KBB went on to say, “Switching from electronic voting to paper ballots would greatly jeopardize the ability of this assembly to select our candidates,” as she called on the Colorado Republicans to not fight among themselves.

Because the motion came from the floor, there was a 2/3 majority needed to pass, those in favor were asked to stand, and only a few did. The motion was dismissed at that time until a delegate came to the stage for a point of clarification stating that many of the delegates did not understand the instructions of the voting on the motion.

The party parliamentarian agreed with the motion, and it was once again opened to voting with more clear instructions. The motion failed once again. Presumably, the reason for the failure of what began as popular motion was that the thousands of people who came from all corners of the state were then scared that the business that needed to be conducted would not be able to move forward with the new rules on voting.

The Chair of the Election Integrity Office, Emily Brake, approached the floor for a point of clarification. Her clarification was that the paper ballots, as well as the clear ballot boxes, were in fact on site and ready to use, thus she was attempting to move for a re-vote on the motion.

Instead of having a microphone on the floor for delegates to use, the party leadership on stage seemingly had to round up a microphone to be lent to those addressing the body. In the moments that a microphone had to be essentially rounded up, Brake was speaking to the chairwoman, which was inaudible to the crowd. Before a microphone was provided to Brake, chairwoman KBB spoke into her microphone stating that the motion was an impossibility.

Quickly KBB and GOP parliamentarian Matt Crane unilaterally declared that the time for debate on the rules was over as there was only 10 minutes allotted for the 3,772 delegates to make motions on the rules. All of that time was used in the fight for paper ballots.

While the audience was clearly split on this decision, the business moved on as it was then time for instructions on using the “clickers” for purposes of voting. Each county chairperson was sent to the tellers table to collect the clickers to distribute to the delegates in their county.

Instructions were then put on the big screen for all voters to see and a test vote was conducted. The “clickers” that were used were EdiVote 100, each had a number on them that was said to track the vote to the person who used it, though it does not appear that there is any record that a number on the device was directly tied to any particular delegate.

El Paso County delegates, as well as many others in attendance, shouted that they did not have their clickers or that their devices did not display what the instructor stated they should display. Those people were told to either wait for their count chairperson to distribute them or if they were having technical difficulties, to see the tellers table out in the hall. As this was going on, the speeches for the candidates to Colorado State Governor commenced.

A delegate from Douglas County told us in an interview that she did not have a “clicker” before speeches for Governor began and when it came time to vote there was confusion due to after voting instead of the word “COUNTED” she saw “VOTE” as if her first vote was not recorded.

Motions on the floor were heard first for Governor candidates. To the surprise of nearly everyone in the building, the owner of FEC United, Conservative Daily Podcast host and the highly controversial Joe Oltmann was nominated for the Governer’s seat. The crowd, in a state of shock took to their feet to welcome Oltmann to the stage. Though ultimately declining the nomination, Oltmann took the time to point out to the crowd that there are RINOs within the party as the GOP’s own legal council also represents Dominion Voting Machines.

There were 9 candidates for Governor who addressed the delegates. Of those, there were three clear front runners including Heidi Ganahl, Greg Lopez, and Danielle Neuschwanger. Ganahl was the only candidate that prior to the assembly collected signatures on a petition to be placed on the primary ballot to ensure her spot.

When the speeches were over and the voting ended, the results shocked a majority of the crowd. Greg Lopez, who stated during his speech that, “It’s time we go back to counting all ballots by hand and get rid of the Dominion machines.” Lopez also added, “And if Tina Peters should be falsely accused, as governor I will pardon her.”

Lopez received 34.4% of the vote, Heidi Ganahl received 32.63% of the delegates’ vote though she did not mention election issues at all, and Danielle Neuschwanger received just 27% of the votes even though she appeared to have the support of a larger majority of the crowd. With at least 30% required to be placed on the primary ballot, Lopez and Ganahl appear at this time to be the only candidates who will be listed.

The assembly then moved to hear motions for nominations for the seat of Colorado Attorney General. A newcomer that not many had heard of, Stanley Thorn, was nominated on the floor. He was welcomed by a large group of the audience who believes that the 2020 election was stolen. John Kellner who was much more well-known was nominated though many shouted out, “Rino!” as he addressed the crowd. When the nominations ended, and the voting commenced, both Thorne and Kellner gained enough votes to be placed on the primary ballot. It was revealed later, after the assembly concluded, that Stanley Thorne was not affiliated as a Republican, but instead as an Unaffiliated voter which disqualified him from the Republican Primary Ticket.

The highly anticipated race for Secretary of State was up for consideration next. Pam Anderson has announced her candidacy on the Republican ticket but did not attend the state assembly. Instead, she went the route of petitioning onto the primary ticket. There is much controversy over her running as she is still the director, although listed on leave at the moment, for the Center for Tech and Civic Life that is well-connected to the “Zucker Bucks” which provided $400 million to mostly blue and swing states for election workers during the 2020 election.

Tina Peters, the Mesa County Clerk who has been arrested, and now indicted by a grand jury for tampering with election evidence among other charges, was nominated for the seat of Secretary of State. Like Bobert who took the stage earlier, Peters appeared to be elevated to celebrity status as she was welcomed with a roar from the crowd who had been sitting on the edge of their seats to see her speak and accept the nomination. Peters has been under attack by the sitting Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold after she blew the whistle on fraud that occurred in the 2020 election in the Mesa County Clerk’s Office.

“They made me sleep on the concrete jail floor for 30 hours, because I protected your election data,” said Peters as she was referring to the time she spent in jail after she was arrested for allegedly “filming in a courtroom” during her deputy clerk’s court appearance.

“I’m not afraid and you shouldn’t be either. I’m still fighting for you. And I’m still standing.”

Next to take the stage, with a much less grandiose entrance, was Mike O’Donnell a born and raised Australian who came to the United States and gained his citizenship legally. O’Donnell, who lives in Yuma County, gave a remarkable speech that involved the numbers of the past election, and how there are numbers in the voter rolls that he has purchased from the Secretary of State website that do not add up correctly. The data shows significant inconsistencies in registered voters. O’Donnell also spoke of the Colorado Canvasing Report and that he would hold the Colorado election process to a higher standard than Jena Griswold currently has.

Peters took the majority of the delegates’ vote with 60.5 percent, and what came as a shock to many, O’Donnell came away with 39.43%. Both candidates will be placed on the ballot with Pam Anderson for the June Primary race.

The last candidacy to be decided on was the U.S Senate seat. Six candidates were nominated to the U.S Senate seat, with 4 of them being endorsed by high profile individuals around the nation. Gino Campana was endorsed by President Donald Trump and even had the likes of Kellyanne Conway working on his campaign. Deborah Flora was endorsed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Eli Bremer, who is a US Olympic Gold Medalist, had the endorsement of the Medal of Honor recipient who is known as “the real Forrest Gump” Sammy L. Davis. Ron Hanks, who is currently a State House Representative, was joined on stage by other “election deniers” including Tina Peters.

Ultimately, in another surprise voting result, Ron Hanks secured the top seat on the Primary ticket with the majority of the vote knocking all others out. He will join Joe O’Dea in the Republican primary. O’Dea like some others did not attend the assembly, opting to instead petition onto the primary ballot.

Just when the dust had appeared to begin to settle at the assembly and delegates were leaving after a long day that began with standing in line outside for 2 or more hours for some, delegates from Custer and other counties along with candidate for Governor Danielle Neuschwanger took to the stage to address chairwoman KBB to inform her of complaints that delegates were having issues with their voting devices, and that there were delegates who never received theirs.

The chairwoman appeared to blow off those who expressed their concerns which sparked a fiery reaction from Neuschwanger as well as the delegates who stood with her. Neuschwanger threatened a lawsuit against KBB as well as, put her “behind bars.”

Since Saturday there have been reports that there were people in attendance with guest badges on who were using “clickers” to vote as well as delegates with names on their badges who did not match the person wearing the badge.

There was no ID verification for delegates and what appears to be very little if any chain of custody of the voting devices or “clickers”. The Independent has sent an email to the Colorado GOP office asking for clarification on this as well as for a statement about the electronic voting system that was used.

It has been claimed, as of yet unproven, in the day since the assembly that the voting system used to cast and tally votes, EdiVote100, had been retired by its maker, Reply Systems as of July 2021. As of press time there was still no reply from the Colorado GOP to answer these questions as well as no public statement made.

The Neuschwanger campaign has called for an audit of the assembly election results. Danielle Neuschwanger had this to say in an interview Monday, “I am disheartened at the lack of respect that KBB had demonstrated to the various delegates and counties who reported to her concerns regarding the ability to vote, including delegates not receiving clickers, clicker malfunctions, and individuals with guest passes voting. Also, the intimidation that she used to shut down the request for the use of paper ballots which were not only present on site but also had over a 100-teller committee volunteer teams ready to go was not only inappropriate but also dishonest. She has broken her promise for the commitment to Colorado to ensure that every vote was cast and counted. If our own party cannot verify votes are counted at state assembly, what hope does that give the rest of the state. I will continue to fight for their voice and vote during assembly regardless of outcome for my race. It was never about winning for me; it had always been about fighting for the people. I won’t stop until they tell me to.”

Other delegates to the assembly were concerned as well as confused by the turmoil that occurred. Kit Carson County Delegate Judy Feldhousen says this about her experience at the assembly, “I was told the clickers are ok, it’s the program that they were using that is very hackable. Banks can transfer money, we can order off Amazon, why can’t we make our vote secure? The GOP establishment had a bad day!”

With nearly all candidates that were elected on to the Republican Primary ballot promoting election integrity and calling for not only changes moving forward but also shedding light on what happened in 2020, it appears that the Colorado Republican Establishment who has held firm on the rhetoric that 2020 was a safe and secure election may be on their way out as the people have clearly spoken.

The grassroots Constitutional conservatives are flushing out the RINOs and doubling down on election integrity. Will they find the support in the unaffiliated voters who outnumber both Colorado Republicans and Democrats? Only time will tell, but the months between now and the primary election will likely show who stands as a RINO and who will adopt the narrative of an overwhelming number of Coloradoans who believe that our election process is fraudulent and that the 2020 election was stolen.

*The audit information as well as the promised checks and balances system for each delegate to confirm their vote has still not been provided by the Colorado GOP. It was announced it would be available Monday April 11 on ColoradoGOP.org. Once this information is available to us this article will be updated with further information.

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