According to a news release, a criminal complaint was filed today with the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s office by Colorado Congressional District 5 candidate Joshua Griffin, who is alleging that El Paso County Chair Vickie Tonkins and Colorado GOP Chair — and CD5 candidate — Dave Williams withheld delegate lists from candidates to the advantage of Williams.

“The withholding of delegate lists impedes the democratic process by preventing candidates from communicating with and seeking support from elected delegates,” reads Griffin’s affidavit. “This lack of access hinders candidates’ ability to campaign effectively, potentially altering the outcome of the primary elections. It undermines the principles of transparency and fairness that are foundational to our electoral system. Delegates, who are elected representatives of their precincts, are also deprived of the opportunity to fully engage with all candidates, thereby limiting their ability to make informed decisions that reflect the preferences of their constituents.”


The exhibits filed with Griffin’s affidavit included screenshots of email exchanges between candidates and party officials. According to Griffin, shortly after emailing Tonkins to request the delegate list, which Tonkins claimed was not ready, delegates received text messages and emails from Williams’ campaign.

“I have no idea about this,” wrote Tonkins in response to a March 13 email from Griffin. “I have not sent out any information from our office because it is not in the system yet. We still do not have post caucus information yet. Todd [Watkins, Colorado GOP Vice Chair] is working on that and some are still not completed. People here have a tendency to want to think the worst of my administration because previous leadership have done the worst. Please stop projecting lies onto me. When I get the information completed it will be available to all candidates. I cannot give what I do not have.”

Griffin noted the screenshots of emails and text messages from Williams. “The evidence speaks for itself,” he said. “Newly elected delegates (meaning those who have never been delegates before) have presented me with emails from Dave Williams that they received this morning. Meanwhile, in your last email to me as a CD5 candidate, you stated that the information is not yet prepared. This leaves me with two possibilities: either you are not being truthful, or Dave Williams possesses some kind of clairvoyant abilities. Your condescending tone suggests that you believe the people to be ignorant. Furthermore, to advocate for election integrity while simultaneously displaying zero integrity only reveals your true identity as a liberal masquerading as a Republican. This is a shameful and deceitful act.”

Williams’ text to Delegates

According to Watkins, Williams, as the Colorado GOP Chair, was able to access the delegate data through the Colorado Republican Caucus and Assembly System, or CRCAS, a database for delegate information. Following the March 7 precinct caucuses, where slates of delegates and alternates were selected, the final delegate list began to be compiled. During this process, alternate delegates from precincts can be used to fill gaps in other precincts. According to Watkins, the list Williams used to contact delegates was “Eighty-five to 90% complete,” and did not come from Tonkins. Prior to distributing the lists of delegate information to candidates, county leadership also requires candidates to sign non-disclosure agreements to prevent misuse of delegates’ personal information. While the other candidates were waiting for that process to complete, Watkins said Williams, as state party chair, was able to access the in-process list directly from CRCAS.

Williams did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment, this story will be updated if we receive a response.

“I have been asking the chairman of [CD5] for the list for the last few days and have been told that all candidates for 5th CD would get it at the exact same time,” wrote Jeff Crank. “Sadly, that wasn’t the case.”

Other individuals included in the email exchange included Charles Wingate, a former Colorado Springs City Councilor who was charged in 2002 with forgery and embezzlement for allegedly using a city business card to charge pizza deliveries to his home. In 2014, Wingate was sentenced for misdemeanor child abuse after his naked, autistic 13-year-old son was found living in a home pocked with human feces and dead rodents.

During the 2022 elections, candidates accused Tonkins of manipulating the caucus and assembly process, favoring a slate of “grassroots” candidates who included Williams and current Colorado GOP Vice Chair Todd Watkins.

Tonkins during a 2022 candidate forum.

“​​I think there were very few votes that were up for grabs there in that room,” said El Paso County Coroner Dr. Leon Kelly of the 2022 assembly. “I think the party leadership right now — for every single race — is favoring one particular slate of candidates. They’ve made that very clear, this isn’t a fair race. The party’s behind one group, and the rest of us know we’ve got an uphill battle to climb and we need to reach out to old school Republican voters who have been there for us for a long time and certainly those unaffiliated voters who get the opportunity to have their say in the election process.”

During the March 13 email exchange, “election integrity” activist Charity McPike mentioned past conflicts with Tonkins. “She played the same game with a ton of the candidates in 2022,” she wrote. “I went to Kristi Burton Brown at the time. We have a lengthy email thread with Vickie included. KBB did nothing to help the situation. I think it would require a lawsuit. But if enough precinct leaders knew or cared (half are in bed with Vickie), then we could vote her out. I do believe there are a few Peak Republicans strategizing to call and emergency meeting to try and remove her. The problem is, her loyal cult members show up and the majority of the Central Committee does not. But proxies are allowed.”

Williams’ controversial decision to run for CD5 while serving as the Colorado GOP chair has garnered criticism from former GOP chairs.

“It’s absolutely unethical,” said Brown during a March 11 appearance on the Ross Kaminsky show. “I talked to a number of people in the Central Committee who still call me, county chairmen, who are friends of mine, working really hard for the party who are really disturbed by the position he’s putting the party in. Ethics and integrity are their biggest, biggest problem with what he’s doing.”

Bob Beauprez, who resigned as Colorado GOP Chair in 2002 to run for Congress, discussed Williams’ dual roles during a March 5 appearance on the Richard Randall show. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “This is just common sense. You know, Reagan was asked once what he meant — he talked a lot about character — and he said, ‘Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.’ Williams, unfortunately, can’t even do the right thing when people are looking. He consistently violates anything that resembles common sense and certainly ethics. This is all about Dave Williams and about power … The larger part of me actually kind of pities people like Dave. It must be horrible to go through almost every single day, driven by anger and vengeance and jealousy and envy and just me, me, me. Party obligation really ought to be defined by that old servant mentality. You’re here to serve a cause and to serve other people and to build up, not to tear down. Somehow, Dave and people of that ilk think you can win an election by subtraction, by continually throwing people out of the party and chasing them away.”

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story used a quote from an email from Griffin implying that Tonkins was Williams’ source for the delegate list. That quote has been removed and additional context provided by Watkins included.