Daily Camera (Boulder)

At least 6 vie to be GOP’S new leader

- By Seth Klamann sklamann@denverpost.com

At least six people — including indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and two former Congressio­nal candidates — are vying to become the next chair of the Colorado Republican Party, three months after an Election Day beating sank the party to a historic nadir.

The party’s current chair, Kristi Burton Brown, announced in December that she wouldn’t seek reelection when her term ends in March. Peters, who is set to stand trial in the coming months for allegedly plotting to breach election equipment, announced her candidacy on her website. She’s joined by Erik Aadland, who in November lost his bid to represent CD-7 to Democrat Brittany Pettersen, and Casper Stockham, who unsuccessf­ully ran for the CD-7 seat in 2020 and the state party chair shortly after that.

Dave Williams, a former state representa­tive who lost in a primary last year to fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn,is running, as is Kevin Lundberg, who spent 15 years as a state lawmaker. So, too, is Aaron Wood, a Highlands Ranch Republican who previously founded a conservati­ve group that seeks “to ensure Christian conservati­ve values remain strongly rooted in our society.”

The election, run and decided by the state’s central committee, will be held March 11 in Loveland.

Whoever succeeds Burton Brown will take the reins of a state party in disarray after several election cycles of decisive defeats. Democrats have now won all four statewide contests — governor, secretary of state, treasurer and attorney general — for two successive cycles, and their control over the General Assembly has grown to a supermajor­ity in the House and near-supermajor­ity in the Senate. Colorado Republican­s lost both competitiv­e Congressio­nal races in November in an election that was billed as a red wave. Even U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert nearly lost, despite her district becoming more conservati­ve since her first election.

Those losses, coupled with demographi­c shifts, require a years-long rebuild of the Republican Party in Colorado, various officials previously told the Denver Post. It’s an unenviable task: The party has been plagued by infighting in recent years, and veteran party members warn that

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