A Donald Trump supporter holds a Stop the Steal sign while gathering on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol to protest the election on January 6, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)
Colorado Republicans elected an election-denying conspiracy theorist as their state party chairman on Saturday, making him the latest GOP state party chair elected in recent months who’s pushed lies about the 2020 election.
Former State Rep. Dave Williams unsuccessfully tried to get the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” appear as his middle name on a party primary ballot last year, continues to insist that former President Donald Trump was robbed in 2020, and wants to get rid of his state’s universal mail ballot system. Now, he’s in charge of the Colorado Republican Party.
“Our party doesn’t have a brand problem,” Williams said in a speech to the party convention before his win, according to the Associated Press. “Our party has a problem with feckless leaders… We need a wartime leader.”
Williams won on the third ballot after being endorsed by Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, a fellow election-denying conspiracy theorist who also ran for party chair. Peters won nearly 10 percent of the vote in the seven-candidate first round, just days after she was convicted for misdemeanor obstruction of government. That case was separate from her larger trial, scheduled to go to court this August, for breaching the of the Mesa County election system as she unsuccessfully looked for evidence of fraud in the 2020 election.
His victory makes him just the latest conspiracy theorist to win the chairmanship of a state Republican Party in recent months, joining an already-lengthy list of election deniers running state Republican parties.
Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Kristina Karamo won her race last month by insisting her 14-point election loss for secretary of state last fall was rigged. She has close ties to the QAnon movement and has claimed that basically every major pop star is a tool of Satan, from Jay-Z to Cardi B to Beyonce. Oh, also yoga.
In Idaho, election-denying conspiracy theorist Dorothy Moon defeated the sitting chairman to become the state’s Republican Party chair last summer, winning partly because of her insistence that President Biden was an illegitimate president who’d won the 2020 election by cheating.
Moon has close ties to extremist groups—her husband serves on the national council for the far-right John Birch Society and she has rallied with militia leaders like Ammon Bundy.
Kansas Republican Chairman Mike Brown is another election-denier who’s recently become party chairman—he won a contentious race by insisting that widespread election fraud was a pervasive problem.
These victories are increasing the already-large ranks of state Republican Party chairs who have pushed lies about America’s election results. As of 2021, according to an earlier VICE News investigation, 19 of the 50 Republican state party chairs had falsely insisted that the election was stolen.
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