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On Saturday March 11, 2023, the Republican State Central Committee (RSCC) convened to conduct the biennial reorganizational meeting. During this event, elections are conducted to usher in the slate of State Party Officers who will serve during the 2023-2025 term. As the recently elected Chairman of the Boulder County Republicans, I attended this meeting along with Republican Boulder County board members. Also attending this exclusive affair were nearly 400 other party officers and representatives from the other 63 counties. The final tallies of the elections are bound to stir many different emotions from people of different political persuasions. For me, the sensation is a hope and a prayer for a return to the Colorado I once loved.
Those members of our state Republican Party, who closely follow state party politics, fully comprehend that there exists a sense of despair among the party faithful following last year's embarrassing defeat to the Democrats in the 2022 midterms. The salt in this wound is the fact that our party is deeply divided. This is best exemplified in El Paso County where recently, outgoing State Party Chair, Kristi Burton Brown, agreed to intervene in their County Party Elections when asked of by county members representing a splintered faction.
There are a number of reasons why Republicans are divided, however, it is undeniable that the crux of the split is along the lines of election fraud. On one hand there are Republicans who believe Colorado elections are “Free and Fair”. On the other, are those who believe (1) the Open Primary process hurts grassroots candidates, (2) state voter rolls are not properly updated, (3) transparency issues exist with the ballot scanners, (4) ballot boxes are not properly monitored, and (5) key election processes cannot be reliably audited. The latter, are who the former would call, “election deniers”.
I think it would be instructive to recall how the Democrats reacted to the outcome of the 2016 election. Trump was called an illegitimate president. His win was attributed to Russian collusion, which was eventually proven to be concocted and funded by the Clinton campaign. The entire Democrat party was calling for Trump’s impeachment. Was this not denying the results of an election? It was.
Back to the RSCC election, on the first round of voting for State GOP Party Chair, which included seven candidates, former State Rep. Dave Williams received the most votes and former Congressional Candidate Erik Aadland came in a close second. A 50% majority is required to win. The second round yielded the same results. Then, in the third round, all underperforming candidates withdrew their names, leaving just Dave and Erik. This meant that the third round was to be the last round of voting, the leader of the State GOP would soon be announced, and the future of the party would be clearer.
Here is where it gets interesting. Erik Aadland of the “Free and Fair” elections camp, vs. Dave Williams of the “Colorado elections have some serious flaws that need to be addressed” camp, were neck and neck in the two earlier rounds of voting. This was a clear indicator of how divided Republicans are in Colorado. Dave and Erik were astutely aware of this and, after Dave was announced the winner, he and Erik stood on stage together locked in arms. Erik threw his undivided support to Dave in a sign of solidarity. Both candidates addressed the crowd and called for members to embrace the common ground that we have, to put aside our differences, and reunite the party.
Dave has vowed to restore bold leadership and to unapologetically reaffirm the American First values that proved to create financial prosperity and security for all Americans during the Trump presidency. He has a plan to win elections and take the fight to the Democrats. In Colorado, and all across the nation, violent crime is rampant, homelessness is at unprecedented levels, fentanyl and other opioid drug overdose is at epidemic levels; and racially-divisive and gender confusing ideologies are being taught to our children in public schools. My hope is that Coloradans are ready to return our once beautiful state back to normalcy and vote Republican.
George Tristan, Chairman of the Boulder County Republicans