After gaining the support of an overwhelming 72.5% of Republican delegates at a GOP assembly Saturday, giving her the top-line position on the June 28 primary ballot, Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine called on her Republican opponents in the race for Colorado’s new congressional seat to “reconsider their campaigns” and “unite on Team Lori so we can crush the Democrats in November.”
“With a massive 72.5% landslide win at today’s Colorado Congressional District 8 Republican Assembly, I’m proud to be the ONLY candidate with GRASSROOTS conservative support,” wrote Saine on Facebook, adding, “It’s time for others in this race to reconsider their candidacies and unite on Team Lori so we can crush the Democrats in November, ROLL BACK SOCIALISM AND FIGHT FOR FREEDOM!”
The problem for Saine is, her top opponents skipped Saturday’s assembly completely and petitioned their way onto the primary ballot, likely because they thought they’d lose to Saine — or another candidate who’s more popular among the Republicans who comprise the activist base of the Colorado Republican Party and attend the assemblies, like the one that took place Saturday.
Tyler Allcorn, a former Green Beret, state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R-Weld), and Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann submitted enough signatures to allow their names to appear on the ballot below Saine’s, without having to face a vote of Republican activists.
Another candidate, Jewels Gray, a businesswoman, got 27.5% of Saturday’s votes, shy of the 30% required to appear on the primary ballot. She also submitted signatures and is awaiting word from the Secretary of State’s office on whether she qualified for the ballot.
So it appears that at least four of the five GOP candidates running for the Eighth Congressional District seat will appear on the primary ballot in June.
Saine’s win Saturday, at a minimum, puts her conservative credentials in the spotlight going into the final lap of the primary campaign for the new seat, which surrounds Denver to the north.
It’s not clear which candidates will be splitting votes with whom in the primary election. The voting base in June will expand beyond the conservatives who attended Saturday’s assembly — and will include some unknown number of unaffiliated voters who choose to vote in the Republican primary.
Beyond Saine’s demonstrated appeal to the Republican base, it’s difficult to predict which candidates will draw which types of voters, say observers, and it’s equally unclear how many voters will turn out beyond the conservative base.
Still, you can expect all the candidates to prioritize, at least to some extent, outreach to right-wing Republican voters, who remain the most likely folks to vote in June.
Nevertheless, Saine was the only candidate to appear at the “Rally for a Red Wave” event near Bandimere Speedway yesterday.
Citing what sets her apart from her primary opponents, Saine noted that she’s “the only candidate who’s fought for election integrity for nearly a decade,” sponsoring “amendments to remove dead voters off the rolls because they tend to vote Democrat, don’t they?” She also highlighted her anti-choice credentials, citing “my sponsorship of bills to protect the life of the unborn … and to expose the heinous practice of allowing abortion to the day of birth in our state.”
Kirkmeyer’s comments on the radio last week may illustrate how she’ll campaign.
KOA Morning News co-host Marty Lenz asked Kirkmeyer on March 30 if she likes the mixture of political leanings in the new congressional district.
“In this district specifically, you know, the base is really about, I say, they are God-lovin’, gun-totin’, tax-hatin’ kind of folks, and I think that resonates very well with the message and vision I’ve had for this state for the past 20 years or so,” replied Kirkmeyer.
Democrats vying for the Eighth Congressional District seat are state Sen. Yadira Caraveo of Thornton and Adams County Commissioner Chaz Tedesco.