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Profiling the Primary 2022 Ballot

By Raina Lucero

June 22, 2022

June 28th is Colorado’s Primary Election date. If you are a registered voter in Colorado, whether you are Democrat or Republican you have probably received your primary ballot in the mail. If you are an Unaffiliated voter, you have received both party’s ballots.

In Colorado, Unaffiliated voters vastly outnumber political party voters. As of June 1, 2022 the Colorado Secretary of State reports that there are 1,699,415 Unaffiliated voters, 1,068,827 Democrat voters, and 956,904 Republican voters. Because of Colorado’s open primary laws those 1,699,415 Unaffiliated voters will receive both party ballots and will be tasked with choosing which party they want to influence and because of these numbers of registered voters in Colorado, it will in essence be left up to the Unaffiliated voters to select the future candidates for the November 8 General Election ballot.

There seems to be much emphasis on this year’s primary election that could have possibly been handled by party leadership. The GOP has seen a division in their party which appears to showcase the GOP establishment versus the GOP MAGA. The number of candidates at the Republican State Assembly was telling as to where the people of the party stood with the current state of affairs within their party.

Instead of being all inclusive of the delegates’ views, the Colorado GOP leadership, particularly party chair Kristi Burton Brown (KBB) discredited the notion that there are in fact RINOS amongst us, and has said that election fraud is not a “kitchen table issue” for the majority of Colorado Republicans. KBB was soon to be reminded who it is exactly she works for.

Of the 3,772 delegates who attended the 2022 Colorado Republican Assembly, a large portion of them were first time delegates who only recently joined their county parties or showed interest in the assembly process. This influx of new interest in the assembly process resulted in knocking off some very good and highly qualified candidates who would have otherwise been granted a spot on this year’s primary ballot if not for the dissention within the party.

Looking for the RINOS seems to be a priority for the MAGA portion of the Republican party who strongly support candidates who acknowledge the fundamentalism of the Constitution, are unapologetically Pro-Life, and are public in the opinion that the 2020 election was rigged. The result of the Colorado State Assembly shows that despite the unilateral rulings that KBB and the Colorado Republican Committee utilized that day, those MAGA qualities are indeed most important to the voters as the top of the ticket in the races for United State Senator, Governor, and Secretary of State went to candidates who spoke about the aforementioned topics.

The Colorado Democrat ballot is full of incumbents with few primary contests which may be boring for Unaffiliated voters to participate in, whereas the Republican ballot is full of primary contests that may be more exciting and challenging for those especially who are registered as Unaffiliated.

Looking first to the Federal Office of United States Senator the options are Ron Hanks and Joe O’Dea. At the State Assembly, Hanks was voted as the top-line candidate as well as beating out 5 others, who were each more well-known and strongly backed with endorsements from the likes of people such as Ben Nighthorse Campbell and former President Donald Trump himself.

Joe O’Dea did not participate in the assembly process; instead he took the sure-fire way to get on the ballot of getting enough signatures on a petition to be put on the ballot bypassing the nomination and voting process of being placed on the primary ballot by the delegates of the party.

Because of his lack of participation at the assembly process O’Dea has been dubbed, “Pay-to-Play O’Dea” as his campaign spent more than $200,000 to gain the signatures needed to be placed on the ballot. When looking at his public positions on conservative issues O’Dea does not appear to be as conservative as one would think when running on the Republican ballot. O’Dea does not support the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, as he has stated in several interviews, and has no true conservative record. O’Dea has publicly said that he supports the $1.2 trillion Green New Deal infrastructure bill that would undoubtably benefit his large construction company and he has donated to at least 15 different Democrat candidates’ campaigns.

Recently Democrat-funded ads have targeted Unaffiliated voters making Hanks look most appealing to the more conservative voters because the Democratic party thinks Hanks will be the easier candidate to beat in the General Election.

O’Dea has had to double down his attempts to discredit the Hanks campaign to combat this shady yet legal tactic the Democrats have used. O’Dea has gone as far as creating and paying for a website designed to impugn Hanks using inaccurate and false information.

On this website it states, “Twelve years ago, Ron Hanks ran for Congress in California, only under a different name, Loren Hanks.” Hanks laughingly pointed out, “My opponent has discovered the smoking gun; ‘Ron’ is short for ‘Loren’! News flash! ‘Joe’ is short for Joseph!” In his response to this website, Hanks stated that he put his military career on hold in 2010 to run against Obamacare, which was being rammed through the US Congress while Hanks was stationed in California and performing active and reserve military duty.

Hanks is seen as a controversial candidate not only for his conservative record but also for his attendance at the January 6th “insurrection” at the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

Hanks and O’Dea are vying for the Republican nomination to compete against incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet this November.

Looking down the ballot those of us in the United States Congress District (CD) 4 see Robert Lewis and Ken Buck. Buck, who is the incumbent, has been in his CD 4 seat since 2015 and was shocked as was his team and supporters that he was not the top-line candidate to come out of the assembly process. Bob Lewis, a Colorado real estate agent, was nominated from the floor and won the majority of the delegate votes required to be put on the ballot.

When looking at the records for both candidates, it appears that the main subject they differ is that Buck refuses to acknowledge even the possibility of election fraud resulting in the 2020 election outcome, and Lewis openly speaks about how he believes the election was stolen which is in part why the grass-roots campaign team behind him voted him as the top-of-the-line candidate.

Those who live in CD 3 notice a familiar name as top-line candidate as the incumbent Lauren Boebert will face off with challenger Don Coram there. Boebert has been known to make waves in both the Republican party as well as surrounded by her Democrat peers in arenas such as the Presidential State of the Union where she heckled President Biden. Coram hopes to take the Republican nomination from Boebert to face one of the three Democrats vying for the spot themselves, Adam Frisch, Sol Sandoval, and Alex Walker.

In Congressional District 5 voters will vote for one of the four candidates who qualified for the ballot including Doug Lamborn, the incumbent since 2007, Andrew Heaton, Rebecca Keltie , and Dave Williams.

CD 7 voters will decide between Republican candidates, Erik Aadland, Laurel Imer, and Tim Reichert. The only Democrat running for this seat is Brittany Petterson.

As a result of the 2020 census, Colorado gained a new Congressional District seat, CD 8, for those who live within that congressional district they see a three-way race on their Republican primary ballot between Tyler Allcorn, a former Green Beret, current State Senator Barbara Kirkmeyer who began serving in the state legislature in 2021 and was on the Weld County Commission before that. Jan Kulmann, the Mayor of Thornton, and Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine joined the commission in 2021 and previously served in the State House, including as minority caucus chair.

Allcorn, Kirkmeyer, and Kulmann qualified for the primary ballot via signatures. Saine qualified through an assembly vote, receiving 73% of delegates’ votes at the district assembly, where a candidate needed at least 30% to advance. Yadira Caraveo who has held Colorado’s Congressional District 31 since 2019 is the only candidate on the Democratic primary ballot.

Further down the ballot Republicans Greg Lopez and Heidi Ganahl are duking it out for the chance to be the one to take on current Governor Jared Polis.

Lopez was the top-line candidate coming out of the state assembly receiving 34.03% of the delegate votes, whereas Ganahl who had already secured her spot on the ballot via petition but decided to join the assembly process received 32.63% of the 30% needed.

Lopez was also a Republican candidate for Governor of Colorado in the 2018 election and was defeated by Walker Stapleton in the Republican primary. Ganahl currently holds the University of Colorado Board of Regents At-large District position and has since, 2017. Many of our readers have inquired about Danielle Neuschwanger who is also campaigning for the Governorship. Danielle received just under the 30% threshold of delegate votes at the state assembly and because her followers felt so strongly about her commitment to the state as well as to her ability to defeat Polis in November, Neuschwanger is now running on the American Constitutional Party ticket and because she does not have any competition she is already guaranteed a spot on the General Election Ballot for November.

The last Federal Office on Republican primary ballots with a contested race is that of the Secretary of State. Currently Democrat Jena Griswold holds the position and has used her power to influence legislation that removes the rightful power of the local elections from our elected county clerks and puts it right into the hands of her and her cronies.

Top-line candidate Tina Peters is the duly elected Clerk and Recorder of Mesa County. On March 8, 2022, a grand jury returned an indictment accusing Peters of crimes relating to voting systems in Mesa County. Peters has not been tried, let alone convicted. If a trial occurs, it is months or longer away. On March 10, 2022, the Chairman, Vice-Chair and Secretary of the Colorado Republican Committee (CRC) issued a press release urging Peters to withdraw her candidacy because of the indictment. To the CRC’s dismay, Peters did not withdraw her candidacy, and in fact Peters went on to receive 61% of the delegate votes at the state assembly in what was surly a slap in the face of the CRC.

Peters is not alone on the primary ballot for SOS. She is running against Mike O’Donnell an Australian-born business man who has quite the interest in looking at the Colorado voter rolls. O’Donnell has found many discrepancies and has noted several inconsistencies within the Colorado voter roll that leads him to believe that the chances that the 2020 election in Colorado was not without an abundance of fraud. O’Donnell received 39% of the delegates support and has traveled the state visiting many, if not all, counties pointing out the voter roll issues he has found.

Lastly Pam Anderson is listed on the ballot for the SOS slate. Though Anderson is mostly unknown, she is what the Colorado GOP would have thought her a shoe in for this position. However, digging deeper it appears that Anderson is linked closely with the dark money known as “Zucker Bucks” raising RINO flags for voters state-wide. Anderson did not attend the state assembly, nor did she have anyone campaigning at the assembly in her stead as some other candidates who skipped the process. It appears that buying her way onto the ballot and riding the establishment coat tails is the campaign strategy she planned to utilize.

Locally to Kiowa County we see many unopposed races for the elected offices such as Treasurer, Clerk, two Commissioner’s seats, Assessor and Coroner. However, the voters of Kiowa County are tasked this election cycle with deciding which of the 2 Republican candidates for County Sheriff are better suited for the position. Murdock, who received 48% of the county assembly delegate votes is a hometown girl who graduated from Eads High School and has 2 sons in the Eads schools and is currently Sergeant with the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office. Williams received the 30% vote threshold at the county assembly and was listed on the ballot, as well. He is a retired State Patrol Trooper with decades of experience who chose to stay in Kiowa County to make this the home for he and his wife.

When filling out your ballot, it is important to read all instructions. The colorful sleeve that your ballot is folded inside gives the ballot holder precise voter instructions for the Kiowa County Primary Election. Your ballot must be received by the Kiowa County Clerk’s office by 7 p.m. on Tuesday June 28, 2022.

Once finish voting for your selected candidates, place your ballot back inside the colorful secrecy sleeve, and inside the return envelope. After sealing the envelope do not forget to sign the Self-Affirmation on the seal. If the proper steps are not taken with your Mail-in ballot, your vote will not be counted.

Regardless of the ballot you have chosen to vote, or the candidates that you choose, there is nothing more important to the future of our state, and to our country than for every eligible voter to vote in this primary and in the General Election in the fall. The state of our state depends on our rural voices to take a stand and show the urban areas that we too are Colorado Strong.

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