At a campaign event earlier this year, state senate candidate Tim Walsh reassured his audience that although he can’t campaign on “election integrity,” he is suspicious of Biden’s victory. As part of his justification for claiming that “something was fishy with the 2020 election,” Walsh cited MyPillow CEO and Big Lie proponent Mike Lindell’s “great movies,” saying he’s watched them all.

Lindell has produced several conspiracist “documentaries,” including Absolute Proof, Scientific Proof, and Absolute Interference, all alleging various debunked election fraud conspiracies, none of which has been validated but which did cause Dominion Voting System to sue Lindell for defamation.

Walsh’s statement to the JeffCo Republican Men’s Club during his May 2 appearance follows a familiar pattern of Colorado Republican candidates who agree with Big Lie believers in private (or what they think is private) but explain also in private that they can’t say so publicly for fear of alienating unaffiliated voters.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl did it in Durango last November, and Colorado congressional candidate Erik Aadland did it in Evergreen back in June.

Earlier in his remarks at the men’s club, Walsh explained the reasoning behind his strategy: appealing to moderate and unaffiliated voters, explaining it in terms of both election integrity but also his support of former President Trump.

“As much as I would want to go out there and beat on election integrity,” said Walsh, “we’ve got to assume that Republicans are going to vote for Republicans. What we need to do is win over the middle of Colorado.”

“I’m telling you this because there’s poll data, we’ve seen it. I am the first to be a Trump supporter- loved what he did, but I can’t campaign on being a Trump person. And so just letting you know that when we’re out knocking on doors, we don’t even bring up Trump.”

He returned to the subject later in the question and answer session that followed his speech.

“You can’t campaign on Trump and you can’t campaign on election integrity and win,” said Walsh. “What we’ve got to do is, win first. And then we can go ahead and make changes because we all know something was fishy with the 2020 election. And I think the Democrats — I’ve talked to [GOP Secretary of State candidate] Pam Anderson and others — everybody knows something was going on. And how much of that was enough to flip the election? I don’t know. I’ve been waiting for some proof to actually show me. I mean, I listen to all the great Lindell videos and it all makes a lot of sense to me. But if there was so much overwhelming proof, where is it? That’s my — You know, the proof is in the pudding, right?”

Reached via text, Lindell disagreed with Walsh’s strategy of not campaigning on election integrity, saying, “Moderate voters want candidates that are going to get rid of the machines! Fact!!!” He also repeated the unsubstantiated claims made in the movies Walsh praised.

“Every candidate should want to have paper ballots and hand counts,” wrote Lindell. “There should never be any reason to want electronic voting machines! They have been proven to be flawed and hacked for 25 years!”

Reached via email, Anderson, a former JeffCo clerk who was running the Colorado County Clerks Association in 2020, says Walsh misspoke.

“I haven’t seen his remarks till now, but if true, he misspoke, because in my conversations with him he has been clear that the election was not stolen,” said Anderson. “It’s my understanding he challenged those at the event to show any evidence of shenanigans and he hasn’t seen any. As a business owner, Tim approaches challenges as a CEO to weigh data and information to guide important decisions and in that vein, I recently shared the report with him “Lost, But Not Stolen” to answer any further questions.”

The Walsh campaign did not respond to a request for comment. This article will be updated with any response received.