In his campaign announcement to challenge U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) in 2022, far-right state Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Cañon City) exploded a copy machine with the label “Dominion Voting Machine” on its side. In the announcement video, Hanks labeled himself a “pro-Trump warrior” and said that Joe Biden was not fairly elected in 2020.
One of Hanks’s opponents in the Republican primary is former Olympian Eli Bremer, from Colorado Springs. In a radio interview on Thursday on Colorado’s 710 KNUS, Bremer dismissed Hanks’ video as a stunt that should not be taken seriously.
“This is not a serious attempt to unseat an unpopular Democratic senator and flip the United States Senate right,” Bremer said. “We need to come to terms with the fact that we’re going to have to be a serious campaign here in Colorado.”
But Bremer’s own stance on whether the election was stolen from Trump is not clear. He’s clearly stated that he thinks Colorado’s 2020 election was legitimate but has stopped short of making the same statement about the national election.
In today’s KNUS interview, Bremer said on air: “And we need to, first of all, understand that we lost in Colorado, not because votes got switched because, at this point, I think there’s so little evidence of that that we should be able to move on from that unless some bombshell hit.”
In a Sep. 28 appearance on 710 KNUS Bremer similarly omitted any explicit mention of the presidential election as he explained his path from initially doubting the results of the 2020 election to believing it was fair — at least in Colorado.
“So I’m not an expert on elections,” Bremer said in the Sept. 28 interview. “One of the things I’ve learned, though, is when you have questions, go to people that really know about it. And I’m not going to lie, on election night, back in the aftermath of the election, I had a lot of big concerns about this election. I saw numbers that didn’t make sense to me. I saw outcomes that didn’t make sense to me. And so one of the things that I would say is I have fidelity to the truth. I want to get down and find the truth. And so I started making calls and I started asking people, particularly in Colorado, because that’s, you know, that’s our state. I talked to some clerks and recorders. Our clerk in El Paso, I’ve known for quite a while, talked to him. They’ve done a massive amount of investigation into this. And he said, ‘Eli, when we looked at the results, we’re talking random error of .01% level.’ And so I don’t have to like the outcome of the election. But in looking at what I’m seeing now and in talking to people who have phenomenal amounts of experience on this, who are on our side, I believe that in Colorado the results that were reported are correct.”
Bremer’s campaign office has not yet returned a request that he clarify his view of the 2020 election results outside of the state of Colorado.
In today’s radio interview Bremer warned that furthering QAnon conspiracy theories — which have been roundly debunked by fact-checkers — could be detrimental to Colorado’s Republican Party.
“There’s a lot of issues that Colorado Republicans have strong agreements with the electorate on,” Bremer said. “We need to fight for the heart and soul of the Colorado electorate and not engage in QAnon conspiracy theories. … So as Republicans, frankly, we need to quit our whining and we need to start our fighting.”
In the interview today, Bremer emphasized the importance of Republicans connecting with voters through issues other than election security. The two issues he mentioned were the national debt ceiling and transgender athletes competing in sports, an issue Bremer has made a centerpiece of his campaign.
Bremer explained that the best way for the Republican party to move forward is to learn from its mistakes made in the last few election cycles.
“We have been failing for years here in Colorado, and we’ve been failing because of actions like this,” Bremer said, referring to Hanks’ video. “We need to ask ourselves the question why did the electorate not agree with us? Because if we don’t learn from our mistakes, then we are not going to have the right to govern again.”
Hanks’s first session as a state lawmaker was filled with controversy. Hanks said the 3/5 compromise was not “impugning anybody’s humanity” and made jokes about lynching. He also crossed police barriers at the Jan. 6 insurrection, attended national voting fraud conspiracy conferences, and promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory.
This story will be updated with a comment from Bremer’s office if one is provided.
Bremer’s quote beginning with, “And we need to” was initially attributed to Boyles not Bremer, who said it.