A host of Colorado political candidates spoke at a rally Thursday in support of the Colorado Freedom Convoy at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse in Golden.
Gubernatorial candidates Greg Lopez and Danielle Neuschwanger; U.S. congressional candidates Jewels Gray, Lori Saine, Laurel Imer, Carl Andersen, and Rebecca Keltie; and Larimer County Sheriff candidate Jeff Fisher addressed a crowd of over 100 people on topics related to COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates, election integrity, and education.
The freedom convoy is part of a national protest of truckers traveling to Washington D.C., organized in opposition to COVID-19 restrictions and mandates, modeled after the Canadian protest in Ottawa. On the social media platform Telegram, Colorado organizers collected donations for truckers taking part in the protest.
“The men and women that drive, every night, across these highways, they’re the true patriots,” said Lopez, who was open carrying a firearm and wearing an American flag shirt. “Our supply chain rests on the shoulders of those truck drivers.”
Lopez complained of what he saw as a decline in Coloradoans’ quality of life.
“Thirty-four years ago our economy was vibrant, our communities were safe,” he said. “The neighborhoods were clean, we didn’t have homelessness, we didn’t have needles on the streets.”
To fix those problems, Lopez, who according to TRACER paid conservative activist group FEC United a $160 “registration fee” in September 2021, said he will focus on rural Colorado and work to help small businesses.
“Forty percent of those small businesses [forced to close during COVID] won’t come back unless we have a Governor who understands the importance of small business,” Lopez told the crowd.
One of Lopez’s gubernatorial opponents, election conspiracist Neuschwanger, whose introduction referenced her endorsements from Michael Flynn and Seth Keshel, urged the crowd to shout “I will” as she enumerated her campaign platform.
“Who will stand in the fray when the communists come for you children? Who will defend your childrens’ future when they introduce radical sex education and CRT?” she asked. “When they tell you that you have to have a mandated vaccination in order secure your future livelihood and employment, and they threaten to shut down your business and lock you in jail, who will stand with their shield and sword against the tyranny?
“When they tell you that you’re not essential and they come and attack the oil and gas industry and they come to your farm and your ranches and they tell you they’re going to steal your livestock, who will stand up to the tyrants?”
A self-described “God first” candidate, she told the audience her campaign was a matter of good versus evil. “Help me slay the demon,” she said. “We are the wild west, and I’m telling you right now, we need a cowgirl to evict Governor Polis.”
Neuschwanger ended her remarks by leading the crowd in a “Let’s go Brandon” chant. Polling from The Rocky Mountaineer shows Neuschwanger is the current GOP frontrunner in the crowded Governor race, beating Heidi Ganahl by three points.
Congressional candidates touched on similar themes.
Imer promised to stop the “tyrannical overreach of the federal government,” called Donald Trump the “legitimate president of the United States,” led her own “Let’s go Brandon” chant, referred to COVID-19 as the “Wuhan Chinese bioweapon virus” and, just like U.S. Senate hopeful Eli Bremer, repeated transphobic talking points about preventing “transgenders to play on women’s sports teams.”
Competing against Imer in the packed Congressional District 7 GOP race is Andersen, who distributed copies of the Constitution to rally goers and whose platform includes “Protect our 2nd Amendment Rights,” and “Expel the Department of Education.”
Saine, a Weld County Commissioner and former Colorado Representative, emphasized her conservative bonafide.
“There is only one candidate who has received an A+ on every conservative scorecard for eight years in the state House, and that’s me,” she said. “You can count on me not to fold to the swamp.”
Saine also mentioned her record of working for election integrity. “I introduced legislation in 2018 to get noncitizens off the voter rolls, and get dead people off the voter rolls,” she said. “It makes sense, since they tend to vote, right?”
Claims that dead voters cast ballots during elections is an oft-repeated claim, but inaccurate, as there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in Colorado.
Secretary of State Jena Griswold told the Colorado Springs Independent in Aug. 2021, “We go through a rigorous process to remove deceased voters from our voter rolls, and generally to keep our voter rolls clean. Every month, we get a report from CDPHE [Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment], and then there is an extra mid-month list leading up to every election. We also get the Social Security data through ERIC [Electronic Registration Information Center] every month to make sure we are removing people as appropriate. When there is any doubt, we work closely with the counties to refer any potential cases to law enforcement.”
Jewels Gray, who is competing against Saine, described herself as an “America first constitutional conservative” and said Presidential Chief Medical Advisor Anthony Fauci should be jailed, before describing the COVID-19 vaccine as “poison.”
Keltie, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), emphasized her experience in the U.S. Navy and discussed plans to reduce costs for health care and to finish the wall. Keltie was recently quoted in Colorado Politics discussing the dysfunction and potential bias within the El Paso County GOP.
Following the rally, speakers and rally-goers caravanned across Denver on Interstate 70 to a Flying J truck stop in Aurora to watch the freedom convoy leave Colorado for Washington D.C. Though law enforcement from Golden Police or Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department were not present, a woman holding a Twisted Tea helped direct traffic as the caravan of tractor-trailers, motorcycles and cars and trucks pulled, en masse, onto eastbound Colfax Avenue. Aurora Police Department officers were present at Flying J to receive the caravan.