When it came to choosing which minor parties he wanted to negotiate with, Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams only had one question: would they “adversely affect the Republican nominee?”
That criterion led to his much-discussed “deal” with the Libertarian Party, as well as apparently ongoing negotiations with the American Constitution Party. It’s also why he isn’t worried about two other parties: No Labels and the Green Party, both of which he presumably anticipates taking votes from Democrats rather than Republicans.
Williams laid out this reasoning in an interview on the Chuck & Julie Show earlier this week. Host Julie Hayden asked him if in addition to the Libertarians, which other parties he was meeting with.
Hayden: What about some of the other parties? I mean, we’ve got we’ve got the No Name party now, I think-
Bonniwell: No Labels- not ‘No Name.’
Hayden: No Labels! No Name- that’s a Bob Beauprez party! Now, on the No Labels party, are you talking to any of these other organizations too?
Bonniwell: Oh, we want the No Labels Party!
Williams: I’ve engaged obviously, we engaged the Libertarian Party. We’re still talking with the American Constitution Party right now, and we’ll see what we can get done on that end. But Chuck’s right. I’m fine with No Labels putting a candidate up. I’m fine with the Green Party putting a candidate up. We just want to make sure that we don’t have third parties that are going to adversely affect the Republican nominee.
Hayden: Well, let me get your analysis, then, because you look at some of the people who are backing the No Labels party, and they might as well be RINO headquarters kind of people, right? And only big business RINOs. What’s your analysis of why you think that’s going to hurt the Democrats more than us?
Williams: I think just because of what we’re seeing they stand for. A better analogy is probably the Green Party. We all know they’re crazy nuts in that party, but the Democrats are very much aligned in a lot of ways with those folks. So when you have a voter who sees a Democrat, but [also] a Green Party candidate or even a No Labels candidate on the ballot, and they’re upset with the Democrats because they didn’t go far enough, then they’ll likely protest vote and give it to one of those two nominees. And so I’m for it. I think if it does occur, that’s what would happen: It would hurt them more than us.”-Coloraod GOP Chair Dave Williams on the Chuck & Julie Show, June 16, 2023
In a Denver Post op-ed back in March No Labels Colorado Co-Chair L. Roger Hutson wrote,
“If we believe a ticket running on our ballot line can’t realistically win outright in the Electoral College — or if they’d likely “spoil” the election by disproportionately pulling more votes from one of the major party nominees — we’ll stand down.”
In response to a Colorado Times Recorder email inquiry as to whether he agrees with Williams’ assessment that a No Labels candidate would not adversely affect a GOP candidate, Hutson said he wasn’t able to reply directly due to travel, but said he recently submitted a response to Monday’s Denver Post column titled, “‘No label’ but ‘spoiler’ for a third-party presidential candidate on Colorado’s ballot” by former Sen. Mark Udall. Hutson’s response has yet to appear on the Denver Post’s website, but this article will be updated with it once it’s published.
Reached via email, American Constitution Party Chair Doug Aden confirmed that Williams had reached out to his party. Aden expressed skepticism about reaching any agreement, saying he doesn’t trust Williams’ offer.
“I was very surprised to hear about what the Libertarian Party agreed to,” said Aden. “We will review the document he sends, but to be candid there are not many Republicans that actually understand Constitutional Governance, which is the only solution to fixing the woes of our state and nation. He didn’t indicate that he would consider one of our candidates if they were more suited than the potential Republican candidate, therefore we see his offer of coalition as disingenuous.”
No Labels endorsed Colorado Republican Cory Gardner in 2014, giving him its “Problem Solver Seal of Approval.” After Democrats objected and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin resigned from the organization’s board over the endorsement, No Labels eventually also offered the “Problem Solver” designation to Gardner’s opponent, incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, contingent upon certain policy promises. Udall declined.