On October 21, Laurel Imer, former Republican Nominee for Colorado House District 24 and former candidate for Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, announced her intent to unseat Colorado Republican National Committeewoman (RNC) Vera Ortegon.
Imer had previously been the Jefferson County chair for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, and was picked as one of President Trump’s statewide Presidential Electors for the Electoral College, as well as a 2020 RNC delegate representing Colorado’s 7th Congressional District.
Since then, Imer has been unsuccessful in her attempts at elected office. In her run for House District 24 in 2020, she became the Republican nominee unopposed but lost to incumbent Representative Monica Duran by over 13,000 votes, or 28%. Imer’s subsequent run for Congress in 2022 saw her place third out of three candidates in the primary, behind economist Timothy Reichert and Army veteran and eventual Republican nominee Erik Aadland, losing by almost 30,000 votes.
Imer now tries her luck in an attempt to become RNC Committeewoman for Colorado, attempting to oust incumbent Vera Ortegon.
While Imer has not publicly attacked any of Ortegon’s positions, their party’s recent vote to opt-out of Colorado’s open primary revealed at least one difference.
Imer supported the opt-out, and, as Colorado Politics reported, she encouraged her fellow central committee to do so as well.
“We do not have time to continue to fail,” said Imer. “The reason we continue to lose at the ballot box is we allow watered-down candidates to infiltrate our ballot. That is why Republicans don’t vote.”
At the same meeting, Ortegon also addressed the committee, telling them she also wants a closed primary, but wants to wait for the party’s lawsuit against the state rather than opt out via leadership vote. “The way to regain that status should be at the courtroom, not in this room,” Ortegon said.
Imer and Ortegon also have different views of former President Trump. Imer has always been an enthusiastic Trump supporter. Back in 2016, Ortegon admitted that President Trump was, “Not my first or second choice. But I am a supporter of the candidate who comes out of the convention, I will support the candidate and work very hard for him.”
According to her campaign homepage, “Laurel is laser-focused on ending human trafficking, completing the southern border wall, securing election integrity, and Making America Great Again. In Imer’s campaign press release she re-emphasized her top priorities from last year’s congressional run: “Align local and federal issues in education and school choice, immigration, infrastructure, and economic growth, capitalizing on the success of President Trump’s America First Policies.”
Imer has already received over 15 endorsements from political officials from Colorado and across the nation, and this list includes Dr. Kelli Ward, former chair of the Arizona GOP, and former Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO).
The eventual winner of the Colorado RNC Comitteewoman race will be decided by local GOP conventions, of party leaders, and elected officials across the state. A date for the convention has yet to be announced but is expected sometime early next year.
Colorado Times Recorder reporter Erik Maulbetsch contributed to this article.