Libertarian candidate Eric Joss says he will drop out of Colorado’s most competitive congressional race if Republican Janak Joshi triumphs over Gabe Evans in the June 25 Republican primary.

Joss’ promise is significant because a Libertarian candidate in the same district two years ago netted 9,280 votes, which is significantly more than the 1,632 votes that separated the Democrat and the Republican in the race — and sent Yadira Caraveo to Washington. Arguably, the Libertarian candidate caused the Republican, state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R-Weld), to lose.


“I will withdraw if [Joshi] wins the nomination,” Joss told the Colorado Times Recorder. “And we will hold him accountable.”

Joss made the promise after confirming that Joshi, a former state lawmaker, signed a pledge first made public by the Colorado Times Recorder in August, that aims to stop Libertarian candidates from drawing votes from Republican candidates who support Libertarian positions, thus avoiding a situation where a Libertarian candidate would siphon off a sufficient number of votes to cause a Libertarian-minded Republican to lose a race to a Democrat — as could happen in Joss’ current contest in Colorado’s 8th Congressional District (CD8).

The 13-question pledge was hammered out between the Colorado Republican Party, led by Dave Williams, and the Libertarian Party, chaired by Hannah Goodman. Under the federal version of the pledge, a signer must agree, among other things, not to oppose presidential pardons for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, and Ross Ulbrecht, who founded Silk Road, a dark web marketplace.

Lapdog vs. Hound?

Joshi didn’t return a call seeking to know if he agreed to all the statements in the pledge.

The Colorado Republican Party has endorsed Joshi in the GOP primary race, in part, because Libertarians are “vowing to run a spoiler candidate” against Evans.


On the Chuck and Julie podcast yesterday, Joshi said he was “honored” to have received the endorsement of the Colorado Republican Party and that Evans would be a “lapdog” congressman.

“My opponent … is not battle-hardened like me, who has been beaten up and up and still survived and is standing up. He will be a lapdog,” Joshi said on the podcast. “We know that. And, I will be a hound, as I say.”

Joss says he will remain in the CD8 race if Joshi is defeated by Evans, whom Joss says is “clearly no friend of liberty.” Evans hasn’t signed the Libertarian pledge, though he has not ruled out signing it.

Asked if he was worried that he might take enough general-election votes from Evans, if Evans wins the primary over Joshi, to swing the race to the Democrat Caraveo, Joss said he plans on “stealing votes from both sides.”

Evans is considered the favorite in the Republican primary race, after defeating Joshi at the GOP assembly in March. Evans got 61.78% to Joshi’s 30,37% (with another candidate getting 7.85%), but Joshi will compete in the June primary because he got more than 30% of the voters at the assembly.


Evans has expressed confidence that he will easily defeat Joshi, saying in April that his primary race is a technicality. “So we do, technically, have a primary,” he told a right-wing radio host.

The first five, of 13, elements of the federal version of the Libertarian pledge state:

1) I will immediately work to pull funding for Ukrainian aid and push aggressively for peace negotiations with Russia. ______________

2) I will oppose a military draft, should the Ukraine-Russia conflict escalate. ____________

3) I will audit and reduce foreign aid spending. ___________

4) I will work to remove the presidential war powers and return those powers back to Congress. ___________

5) I will recognize the egregious abuses by the US intelligence agencies, and work towards reducing their power with the end goal of abolishing them entirely. _________

CD8 is expected to be the battleground for one of the most competitive U.S. House races in the country. Caraveo is the first representative to occupy the seat, which was created in Colorado after the 2020 U.S. Census.