Brought to our attention via local political reporter Sandra Fish, here’s a mailer that hit yesterday in the increasingly nasty HD-22 primary pitting incumbent Rep. Colin Larson against the previous holder of the seat, former Rep. Justin Everett–Everett having given up the seat in 2018 after losing the GOP Treasurer primary to general election loser Brian Watson (who probably won’t be running for anything again soon).
Although Everett is still bound by term limits and would only be able to serve one more term if he wins back the seat, the battle between Everett and his successor has turned into a very costly proxy war between the Republican Party’s corporate and far-right activist wings. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the cabal within the party most closely identified with House Minority Leader Patrick Neville are backing Everett, while “the suits” are backing Larson. Fish reported on the race for the Colorado Sun last week:
Another nearly $190,000 in big money is aimed at House District 22 in southern Jefferson County, where incumbent Rep. Colin Larson faces former Rep. Justin Everett, who left the seat in 2018 for an unsuccessful bid for state treasurer.
Assuring Quality Health Care Access spent nearly $72,000 supporting Larson, while Coloradans for Conservative Values spent more than $50,000 opposing Everett. Better Jobs spent nearly $36,000 on Larson’s race, with other groups spending less.
Everett is a longtime ally of RMGO, as well as House Minority Leader Patrick Neville. Values First Colorado, the House super PAC, paid Everett $5,000 for consulting in December and January.
Although the content of this mail piece is absurdly difficult to read due to its circa-1996-website design, Everett’s attack on Larson is about as brazen an appeal to anti-LGBT prejudice as anything we’ve seen since the infamous “OMG two guys kissing” mailer sent in the SD-8 GOP primary back in 2012. Everett accuses his opponent of supporting (we apologize for the offense in reprinting) “boys who think they’re girls,” and that Larson is a tool of what Everett calls the “homosexual lobby.”
Safe to say, it’s not just the terrible design of this mail piece that’s a throwback to the bad old days.
With that said, of course, it’s entirely likely that this distasteful message, along with Everett’s familiarity with HD-22 Republicans after serving three terms, will bring out the GOP faithful to vote for Everett in the June 30th primary. Much like the Trump campaign’s red triangles, it’s all about the voters getting the message, and these are not in most cases going to voters who will be put off by a message of hostility toward LGBT Coloradans.
If you’re disgusted, too bad. You’re not in Everett’s target audience.