Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) — Colorado's GOP party chair — has gotten himself into an election scandal that has nothing to do with his own election.
Colorado state Rep. Larry Liston and GOP activist David Stiver both competed in the Republican primary for Colorado's 10th District state senate seat in March, with Liston getting 74 percent of the vote and Stiver getting 24 percent. Candidates need 30 percent to make it onto the November ballot, but Buck tried to push Stiver forward anyway, Eli Bremer, the GOP chairman for state Senate District 10, tells The Denver Post.
On an April 17 conference call with around 200 GOP elected officials and county officers from around Colorado, the group voted to push Stiver to the November ballot even though the 10th District hadn't voted to do so. "Do you understand the order of the executive committee and the central committee that you will submit the paperwork to include Mr. Stiver and Mr. Liston on the ballot, with Mr. Liston receiving the top-line vote?" Buck asked Bremer on the call, according to a recording obtained by The Denver Post. Bremer responded by calling the order a "false affidavit" and said he'd seek "legal counsel" to ensure the move wasn't a "misdemeanor" before doing so. Buck pushed Bremer multiple times before agreeing to "move on."
"You've got a sitting congressman, a sitting state party chair, who is trying to bully a volunteer — I'm a volunteer; I don't get paid for this — into committing a crime," Bremer told The Denver Post in confirming the account. Buck said he wasn't asking Bremer to "commit fraud," rather he was just "asking Eli if he understood the decision of the central committee" and would "follow" its "request." The issue of adding Stiver to the ballot has landed in a Denver District Court.
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