Now that there are officially four Republicans on the June 25 primary ballot in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District (CD3), it’s fair to ask if any of them will earn the endorsement of the Colorado Republican Party as it continues to roll back decades of pre-primary neutrality.

The latest Republican to officially join the fray, Grand Junction attorney Jeff Hurd – whose primary petition was certifiedby the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday – has been piling up endorsements from a former governor, U.S. senator, two congressmen, an attorney general and numerous state lawmakers, district attorneys and county commissioners. But so far, no word on a nod from the state party, which endorsed U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert on Monday.


Boebert is the current Republican U.S. representative for CD3, which encompasses most of southern and western Colorado, but she moved from Silt to Windsor on the Front Range to run for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District (CD4) on the Eastern Plains, which is even more solidly conservative than the 9-point Republican-leaning CD3. Current CD4 U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican, is stepping down from his seat early, forcing a special election on June 25.

Republican state Rep. Richard Holtorf, who successfully petitioned his way onto the CD4 ballot on Wednesday, called for Colorado GOP Chairman Dave Williams to resign for endorsing Boebert and calling another CD4 candidate, Deborah Flora, a liar in the same tweet on X.

“Our Party is proud to endorse @laurenboebert for Congress as she’s the only candidate in the race with a backbone & proven record of success fighting the corrupt media & failed establishment in Washington D.C.,” the Colorado Republican Party tweeted Monday.

Boebert, who took the top line at the recent GOP assembly, gladly accepted, also on X: “I’m deeply honored to receive this endorsement. Know that I will keep my word and I’ll never stop fighting for our conservative values! There is nothing that would have kept me away from our Assembly and Convention — even if they had to haul me in on a stretcher!”

So will Williams, who is running for the 5th Congressional District (CD5) seat in and around Colorado Springs to replace retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, be issuing an endorsement in the crowded race to replace Boebert in CD3 – a seat she won by just 546 votes in 2022?

Williams did not respond to phone calls and emails this week asking him about a possible CD3 endorsement, but the logical choices would be former state legislator and Donald Trump diehard Ron Hanks or Colorado Board of Education member Stephen Varela because they both got on the ballot at last weekend’s district assembly in Pueblo, where candidates need at least 30% of delegate votes. Varela reportedly earned the top line with 33.5%, and Hanks was second at 32%.

While it’s unprecedented for the state party to pick sides before the primary, under Williams’ leadership the GOP has now changed its rules to allow for the endorsement of candidates who qualify for primaries at party assemblies rather than petitioning their way onto the ballot like Hurd and Delta County realtor Curtis McCrackin.

Three other Republican candidates are also trying to petition their way onto the ballot to replace Boebert in CD3 but have yet to have their petitions certified by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Hanks, who steadfastly denies the results of the 2020 presidential election and was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, said he is not actively seeking the Colorado GOP endorsement.

“I have not received any such endorsements, and I have intentionally not sought any,” Hanks wrote in an email. “Here’s why: Time spent chasing endorsements takes away from time that should be spent talking and listening to voters. Endorsements will come to this campaign, but they will be organic, not coerced or contrived, and I will not bend a knee to any person, entity, or organization to receive one. My focus will always be the voters of these 27 counties, and the security of our endangered nation.”

Asked if that includes an endorsement from former president and current GOP nominee Trump, Hanks replied: “I have not chased it. I would certainly accept it.”

Both Williams in CD5 and Boebert in CD4 have been endorsed by Trump, who is facing multiple court cases and more than 80 felony counts, including for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection to forcibly stop the Constitutionally mandated Electoral College certification by Congress of President Joe Biden’s legitimate victory at the polls in 2020.

Democrats named Trisha Calvarese and John Padora to their primary ballot at the virtual CD4 district assembly on Thursday. River Gassen and Joe Reagan were named to the Democratic primary ballot for CD5 at the district assembly and convention on April 6.

Grand Junction’s Hurd acknowledges that Biden beat Trump in 2020, but his campaign did not respond to questions about a possible Colorado GOP endorsement, instead focusing on Aspen Democrat Adam Frisch, who narrowly lost the CD3 race to Boebert in 2022 and was designated the only candidate on the Democratic primary ballot at the virtual district assembly on Thursday.

“In officially making the ballot [Wednesday], Jeff takes one step closer to defeating Adam Frisch and helping keep the Colorado 3rd district red,” a campaign spokesperson emailed. “Jeff’s message to secure the border, unleash Colorado energy, fight for our water and stand up for Colorado agricultural producers resonates with voters across the district. Jeff is the only candidate with the resources and support necessary to win this November against Frisch and his out-of-state liberal millionaire funders.”

For his part, Frisch has not leaned too far into the rest of the state’s clear distaste for Trump, who lost Colorado by more than 13 percentage points in 2020, and on Wednesday the Frisch campaign continued that tack.

“There are four confirmed candidates on the ballot, and probably more to come,” Frisch campaign spokesperson Tara Trujillo wrote in an email. “Meanwhile, Adam continues working in the district and adding miles to the 50,000 he has already driven. He is excited to be back in Pueblo [Thursday] and then he’s off to Grand Junction and NW CO Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. He is laser-focused on CD3, not on Team Red or Team Blue.”