Colorado Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Penrose), appearing on a Western Slope QAnon sympathizer’s Facebook show, praised the Republicans’ recount of presidential ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona, and expressed support for similar efforts in other states.
Hanks’ one-session tenure in the General Assembly has been marked by controversy, as evidenced by requests for an investigation, for his expulsion, and for his resignation in light of his actions shortly before he was sworn in as a legislator.
Sherronna Bishop, a right-wing conservative activist, organizer, and former campaign manager and aide to U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), interviewed Hanks on June 17 to discuss the end of the Colorado legislative session and other timely political topics including the third-party recount currently underway in Arizona.
Bishop frequently posts live video updates as “America’s Mom” on Facebook, the same account where the Hanks interview was published. In her posts, she openly worries that her Facebook account is in jeopardy from administrators due to her extreme posts which range from embracing white nationalists to cozying up to election conspiracy theories.
In his conversation with Bishop, Hanks discussed his impressions of the controversial third-party “audit” after visiting Arizona to observe the process.
The Maricopa recount has been labeled a “fraudit” and is widely disputed for being led by a conservative partisan, authorized by the Republican-controlled Arizona state senate following formal audits to ensure the veracity of results, and initiated to sow doubt around election integrity in Arizona and other states.
“It was very impressive, the operation down there,” said Hanks. “I left the day after the session ended up in Denver, and it’s about a 12-hour drive. I got down there, and my background in the Air Force was in intelligence and also force protection, anti-terrorism. So I looked at it through those lenses of physical security and force protection. I was very impressed with the external security and with the internal security and processes where they’ve got things very well segregated. So, the ballots are secure. And the counting process was impressive to me. I’ve got nothing but good to say about it. I think it is the model that we ought to clone and take to separate different states and do the same thing.”
In response, Bishop relayed an unverified rumor she’d heard concerning a guest at a recent retreat for Colorado county clerk and recorders who reported being assigned the task of sowing doubt and creating chaos around the Maricopa process, although Bishop did not name the alleged guest.
Representing House District 60, Hanks is a career Air Force veteran. In 2007, according to his campaign website, he bought land in Colorado, intending to retire and travel. But in 2010, Hanks ran unsuccessfully for a California seat in the U. S. Congress. In that congressional race, Hanks ran under the name Loren, his given name at birth.
After winning his election in Colorado — but before taking office — Hanks travelled to Washington D.C. to participate in the rally that culminated in a violent storming of the national Capitol on January 6, in an effort to contest and stop the certification of the November 2020 presidential election results. Hanks admitted he marched to the Capitol grounds with protestors, and falsely implied in a letter to his future constituents that the instigators of the violence were leftist provocateurs.
One week later on January 13, Hanks was sworn into office as the state representative for House District 60. But he was absent from duty later that afternoon and the subsequent two days. Hanks later claimed he’d been ill, although at the time he did not inform caucus or House leadership of his reason for missing most of the opening three days of the legislative session.
During the remaining weeks of the legislative session, Hanks drew criticism for joking about lynching in opening remarks from the House floor, before going on to state his belief that the Three-Fifths Compromise of 1787 did not impugn the humanity of enslaved people. On the final day of session, Hanks reportedly threatened the chair of his minority caucus, Hugh McKean, as they argued over McKean’s legislative strategy and leadership.
Following adjournment of the legislature, Hanks travelled to Phoenix to observe the third-party “recount” of all 2.1 million Maricopa County ballots.
Below, watch a clip from Hanks’ interview with Sherronna Bishop on the America’s Mom Facebook page: