In a radio interview this month, Priscilla Rahn, vice chair of the Colorado Republican Party, urged GOP voters to cast their ballots along party lines, regardless of whether they share candidates’ values and positions.

“I would much prefer that Republicans elect Republicans because then I know we are all on the same team,” Rahn told KNUS radio host Randy Corporon (who was sitting in for Steffan Tubbs), adding, “but, we also know that anybody can choose to affiliate [with the party] and anybody can run for public office. The party doesn’t get to decide who can run for office, or we don’t control how someone decides to run their campaign.”


Rahn urged Republicans to vote collectively, rather than based on their individual principles.

“We need every Republican to get involved and to vote for Republicans this year,” she stated on air.

Rahn — who is staunchly pro-life — appeared on KNUS as some notable Republicans are withholding their support for Republican Senate candidate Joe O’Dea, who opposed the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade throughout his campaign, stating that he supports the right to choose in early pregnancy, albeit with limitations. He’s also said he voted for a measure in Colorado banning abortion after 22 weeks of gestation.

State Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs) has said that he will not support O’Dea, calling him a “closeted Democrat” who “lied about being conservative.”

Republican activist and radio host Dan Caplis cannot vote for O’Dea, he told his radio audience in June.

“You know what I have said very regretfully, because there’s so much about you I like, is that I wouldn’t be able to vote for you because of the fact that you do not want to see Roe overturned,” said Caplis on air.

“People Evolve”

Apparently encouraging hesitant Republicans like Williams and Caplis, Rahn noted the power of persuasion in determining the positions a candidate ultimately takes.

Rahn explained to Tubbs: “New candidates are on a trajectory where they can change. It’s about constantly being in relationship with candidates and our elected officials — people evolve.”

She continued, “Those are our teammates; those are the people that we’re going to hold accountable for our platform and to make good, solid common-sense legislation.”

Rahn’s Aug. 19 appearance on the Steffan Tubbs Show follows her support last year for a proposal to eradicate the Republican open primary.

In a letter dated Aug. 19, 2021, Rahn cited the previous seven years of Democratic victories in the state as she urged voters to “opt-out of the failed open primary system that only sows … division.” Claiming that Democrats had manipulated the open primary system, Rahn wrote: “Republicans should vote for Republicans because that was how our nomination system was designed.”

Colorado’s open primaries allow party members and unaffiliated voters to cast their ballots in statewide primary elections, made possible only after Propositions 107 and 108 passed in 2016. In a state that has gone blue in the past three presidential elections and where 43% of voters are now unaffiliated, the Republican Party has seen a noticeable decline in registered voters over the past several years.

Eliminating the open primary system would have allowed party leaders to determine general election nominees, resulting in more far-right Republicans being placed on the November ballot, rather than more moderate candidates. This year, state Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Canon City), a hardline anti-abortion candidate, was selected by Republicans at their convention. He lost to O’Dea in the open primary.

Although the measure was not approved by the GOP state central committee, its proposal raised alarms as potentially unconstitutional and sparked infighting among Republicans.

Rahn is well known in GOP circles for her conservative stances.

In 2021, Rahn gave a speech titled “Unpacking CRT” to FEC United, a far-right election conspiracy group with an affiliated militia, the United American Defense Force. Rahn has also been a vocal opponent of Critical Race Theory, equating this curriculum with Marxism and accusing universities of not creating safe spaces for conservative thought.

Election day is November 8.

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story incorrectly listed the radio station and host to whom Rahn was speaking. The interview took place on KNUS, not KHOW, on Aug. 19, not 21, and Rahn was interviewed by Randy Corporon, not Steffan Tubbs.