During Saturday’s Jefferson County Republican Assembly, Republican candidate for Governor Danielle Neuschwanger criticized the administration of Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO).

“This administration is a disaster,” Neuschwanger said. “On my first day in office I am firing all 500 of Polis’ appointees.”

Neuschwanger told the group of about 500 people at a Golden hotel that she’d visited seven county assemblies, where party delegates chose the candidates who will appear on primary ballots, across Colorado Saturday.

Other attendees of the assembly included Congressional District 7 candidate Laurel Imer, Colorado GOP Chair Kristi Burton Brown, and U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea.

Neuschwanger made a similar comment to a crowd at the Arapahoe County Republican Assembly, where indicted GOP secretary of state candidate Tina Peters also made an appearance.

“There are two people we need to defeat,” Peters told the group. The first, Peters said, is her GOP opponent, Pam Anderson, who, Peters claims, was part of a $330 million “election bribery” scheme with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in “Democrat states.” Peters denies the accusation in detail here.

The second person Peters, an election conspiracist, wants to defeat is current Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat. Peters didn’t say anything about Griswold, except stating her name and asking, ‘How many of you know Jenna Griswold,” which was greeted with some booing. “I don’t need to say anymore.”

“They have tried shut me up by roughing me up twice,” said Peters from the stage at Hinkley High School, where the assembly took place. “My father died while I was in jail the other day. They have trumped-up charges, all because — are you ready for this? — I exposed that they cheated in the elections.” This was greeted with a solid – but not universal – round of applause and cheers – with no booing or sign of disagreement.

After speeches by statewide candidates and others, the large group of GOP delegates in both Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties split up to vote on statehouse candidates.

At the meeting for Colorado House District 28, two candidates were hoping to get enough delegate support to appear on the Republican primary ballot in June.

To get on the primary ballot, candidates must get 30% of delegates present to vote for them. On Saturday there were 76 delegates for House District 28, which covers sections of Lakewood and Morrison, so candidates were looking to gain at least 23 of the votes each.

One of the candidates, Dan Montoya, who registered as a Republican in January, explained in his speech to delegates that he had a rough upbringing in a small town in Colorado, and how that has made him sensitive to problems he sees in Colorado’s government.

HD28 candidate Dan Montoya speaks to delegates at the Jefferson County Republican Assembly.

Instead of focusing on policies — Montoya said he was aligned with the state Republican party, including improving education, safety, and affordability in Colorado — he said he wanted to explain how he went from a troubled childhood to joining the U.S. Marine Corps and starting a family.

“I was born three months premature in the 1970s,” Montoya said in his speech. “Democrats, if you look at their bill, if they had their way I very well might not be here today.”

Montoya is referencing the push from Democratic politicians in Colorado to codify abortion rights into state law.

The other candidate for the House District 28 seat, Pat Lawrence, said he wanted to strengthen TABOR laws, support oil and gas development in Colorado, support law enforcement, stop Critical Race Theory in schools, and repeal bills that allow for post-birth abortion.

Lawrence’s reference to “post-birth abortion” is a talking point — debunked last week by the Colorado Times Recorder — from Colorado Republicans about the recently passed abortion-rights bill.

Pat Lawrence speaks to delegates.

At the conclusion of the speeches, delegates voted for their preferred candidates. Montoya won 60 votes while Lawrence won 16. This meant that Montoya would appear on the primary ballot, while Lawrence would not.

After the results were finalized, Lawrence — a former oil and gas executive who is also building a solar-powered car — told the Colorado Times Recorder, “I guess they didn’t want fire and brimstone.”

Montoya, in an interview with the Colorado Times Recorder, did not get into specifics on his stance on abortion, but did say he is aligned with other Colorado Republicans on the issue. The state Republican party denounced the aforementioned abortion bill last week. 

“I am aligned with my peers in the Republican party in Colorado on abortion,” Montoya said. “I’m not sure it’s necessary to expand our current abortion law. I don’t know what drove that, but here we are.”

Montoya also said he would support Donald Trump if he were the Republican nominee for president in 2024.

“If he wins the nomination, yes,” Montoya said.

When asked about the results of the 2020 election and his stance on election integrity, Montoya said he believed election integrity was an important issue.

“I think that when they go to the ballot box people want to know that their vote counts,” Montoya said. “So I think that there’s an accountability piece and people deserve to know that their vote counts and everything is running smoothly.”

Montoya also said he was not comfortable giving his view of healthcare policies passed by the state legislature in the past few years.

“I don’t know enough about it to give you an educated answer so I will defer for the moment,” Montoya said.

But when asked about his stance on Obamacare, Montoya did say that his experience getting healthcare through the Veterans Administration has made him hesitant to support too much government involvement.

“I don’t have opinions on Obamacare,” Montoya said. “I can tell you I have healthcare through being a veteran, and I can tell you that sometimes that can be a challenge when you have a large base to take care of. So I can see where that, in and of itself, can present challenges.”

At an Arapahoe County Assembly, Carolyn Cornell and Dave Woolever vied to be the nominee for House District 61,

Carolyn Cornell, one of the candidates, denounced the Democrats Reproductive Health Equity Act (HB22-1279), saying that that the Democrats’ success in implementing policies in Colorado are “what lead the Democrats to think that they can get away with doing things like House Bill 1279 that’s just gone through this week, or in the process of going through this week.”

“I was shocked and dismayed to figure out that the Democrats think it is now okay for a minor daughter child to terminate her pregnancy rather than get her ears pierced and tattoos, which she still needs consent on. Let that sink in a minute.”

In fact, in Colorado minors need consent from a parent or guardian to get tattoos and piercings, as well as abortions. The reproductive-rights bill that’s backed by Democratic lawmakers would not change the requirement for a minor to have parental consent to receive an abortion.

Cornell’s opponent, Woolever, followed Cornell with a speech that was about twice as long as Cornell’s and focused on multiple topics, including crime, energy, and COVID.

“The small businessperson is the heart and soul of the American Dream,” Woolever told the group group. “And I will tell you this. I will continue to support the Climber Loan Fund, which works to provide assistance to those small businesspersons that were hit so hard during, arguably, the unnecessary pandemic shutdowns.”

I will also do what I can to reduce state taxes and so fees, so that entrepreneurship can flourish in District 61 and the state Colorado.”