Among the remaining Republicans vying to replace Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s Third Congressional District, Ron Hanks is unquestionably the best known. The former state legislator and Jan. 6 insurrectionist has already earned the praise of Colorado GOP Chair (and fellow congressional hopeful) Dave Williams, who called Hanks “a proven grassroots conservative warrior.”
But that isn’t the only connection Hanks appears to have with a state party officer. Hanks’ Federal Election Commission filing lists his campaign’s official address as the Grand Junction home of Colorado GOP Treasurer Tom Bjorklund, a longtime political consultant on the Western Slope. In 2010, when he ran former Congressman Tom Tancredo’s failed gubernatorial campaign, the campaign paperwork also used Bjorklund’s address.
Reached via email, both men deny that Bjorklund is working with the campaign. Bjorklund responded via text with the statement, “the answer is no,” but when pressed as to why his address appeared on Hanks’ filing, he answered “hm.” and then stopped responding.
Hanks wrote, “Tom is not affiliated with my CD3 campaign in any capacity,” but declined to explain why Bjorklund’s address appears on his campaign paperwork.
Hanks is almost certain to go through the caucus and assembly process to earn his spot on the primary ballot, as he successfully did during his last primary campaign, a 2022 run for U.S. Senate in which he emerged as the only candidate besides the eventual nominee, wealthy businessman Joe O’Dea who gathered signatures via petition. After winning a spot on the ballot, Hanks proclaimed himself the only true conservative candidate with an ad that portrayed him blowing up a Dominion Voting machine by shooting it with a sniper rifle.
Both Hanks and Bjorklund believe that the 2020 election was stolen, so much so that they both participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection, each documenting their presence on Capitol grounds as other members of the crowd stormed the building. Bjorklund recounted his activity on Jan. 6 in detail as a witness during last November’s Colorado court hearing to determine whether Donald Trump is eligible to be on the ballot.
Prior to the rule changes proposed by Williams and implemented by the Colorado GOP’s central committee, party officers were not permitted to take sides in primary elections. However, as of last fall, party leaders may now oppose primary candidates who don’t go through the assembly process and moreover, “Personal contributions of time or money to candidates by CRC officers or CRC committee members shall not be considered to be ‘endorsements’ or ‘support.’”
The Colorado Republican Party paid Bjorkland’s firm Tactical Data Solutions over $28,000 last year for his work handling the party finances.