In an ad flying around the internet, a conservative political group is alleging that congressional candidate Lori Saine, who’s one of the most conservative elected officials in Colorado, is a liberal.
Saine, a Weld County commissioner, has staked out the most right-wing ground in her primary campaign against three fellow Republicans.
Colorado Conservatives for Retaking Congress, the conservative super PAC responsible for the ad, has earmarked $25,000 each for attacking Saine and Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann, who’s also running for Colorado’s new eighth congressional seat in the same primary, according to OpenSecrets records.
Though not a Saine firebrand, Kulmann would not be considered a liberal either.
Colorado Conservatives for Retaking Congress, formed last year, has a Colorado Springs business address with registered agent Katie Kennedy, who’s associated with multiple political organizations backed by so-called establishment Republicans. The group’s donors were not disclosed.
Kennedy previously served as the registered agent for at least one organization that opposed Saine and supported state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer, who’s one of Saine’s GOP opponents in her current congressional race.
In 2020, Weld Strong, a conservative political group that listed Rockies owner Charles Monfort among its donors, ran digital ads for Kirkmeyer and against Saine. The two candidates were competing in different Weld Country races, Kirkmeyer against Rupert Parchment and Saine against Tommy Holton.
This suggests that Kirkmeyer’s supporters could be behind this year’s attack on Saine, but Kennedy didn’t return an email seeking comment.
“This is a move of desperation to cover up Barb Kirkmeyer’s abysmal voting record. It should be no surprise that her supporters don’t want voters to know I’m the only A-rated conservative in the race while she has generated F ratings on the Colorado Liberty Scorecard and an F rating for the Colorado Union of Taxpayers,” said Saine in a statement. “That is why I’ve been endorsed by the Conscience of the Colorado GOP: the Republican Liberty Caucus, and Freedom Works.”
Kirkmeyer’s campaign did not return an email seeking to know if Kirkmeyer’s supporters are backing the attack on Saine and Kulmann.
A Kulmann spokeswoman stated via email: “During her day job, Jan has to overcome liberals to get her drilling permits. When she ran for Mayor of Thornton she had to beat the Sierra Club. So no – she’s a conservative (and not a career politician like you know who).”
Saine’s ultra-conservative stances are widely known and were well illustrated in questions posed during a recent Republican debate. In her responses, Saine — who was not allowed to participate in the GOP event but answered the questions later — was the only candidate who said she’d censure U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) for joining Democrats on the committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Saine was also the only candidate who said Trump won the 2020 presidential election.
In addition to Kirkmeyer and Kulmann, Saine faces former Green Beret Tyler Allcorn.
On other issues, Saine and Allcorn say they want English-only ballots; and Allcorn, Kulmann, and Saine have said they’d vote to kill Obamacare. All four candidates favor the overturn of Roe v. Wade, though Kirkmeyer and Saine have been more outspoken on the abortion issue.
The attack ad targeting Saine and Kulmann for allegedly being “liberals” comes as the candidates themselves have been rather restrained in attacking one another.
The winner of the race will take on Democrat Yadira Caraveo to represent the district, which lies mostly north of Denver. An eighth congressional district was assigned to Denver after the 2020 Census.
UPDATED 6/8 with a comment from a Kulmann spokeswoman.