More early endorsements raise questions among Colorado GOP

DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Republican Party is continuing to break precedent by endorsing candidates ahead of the June 25 primary.

Political parties typically wait until after the primary to endorse a candidate, but the Colorado GOP has already endorsed a few congressional candidates.

Some call for Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams to step down

The party first broke precedent in January when it endorsed former President Donald Trump ahead of the presidential primary in March. Then in April, the Colorado Republican Party backed U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in a crowded primary race for the 4th Congressional District.

Now, the party is endorsing Ron Hanks in the Western Slope’s 3rd Congressional District, which Boebert is leaving. But the concern is he did not win the majority of support at the Republican assembly: Stephen Varela did.

Varela is now reacting to the announcement.

“Three Republican Party bosses decided to snub their noses at grassroots conservatives,” Varela said. “Republican and conservative activists across our state are furious that our party has been hijacked by a cabal of imposters.”

The same thing is happening in Colorado’s 8th Congressional District. The Republican Party is backing Dr. Janek Joshi even though state Rep. Gabe Evans got more than 60% of the vote at the Republican Assembly.

In the announcement, the party cited concerns that Evans hasn’t disclosed key issue positions and has ties to a “fake conservative organization.” Evans said primary voters are “the only ones I care about,” and called party leaders “out-of-touch Denver party bosses.”

What do these early endorsements mean for Colorado’s GOP?

“Colorado Point of View” Republican analyst Michael Fields said party leadership is picking the wrong candidates.

“They shouldn’t be picking at all,” Fields said. “Ron Hanks isn’t going to win the primary. Evans is going to win in CD-8.”

Fields also speculated what this could mean for the party’s primary.

“I think you’re going to have more losses than wins, which is not a good thing. So, I think it largely makes these endorsements irrelevant,” Fields said.

Trisha Calvarese talks priorities for 4th Congressional District

Democratic analyst Andy Boian said it makes no sense, calling into question the party’s chairman, Dave Williams.

“All his decisions seem to be at least borderline questionable and sometimes just flat-out wrong. In this case, politically, it makes no sense to endorse early,” Boian said.

Boian agrees with Fields, but added: “Where does the party go from there? They’ve lobbied accusations against him already,” he said of Williams. “I don’t know how they come back from that.”

Watch the full conversation on “Colorado Point of View” on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. on Colorado’s Very Own Channel 2.

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