Wadhams Wouldn’t Be ‘Surprised’ if Majority of CO GOP Governing Body Votes To Exit Open Primaries

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Former Colorado Republican leader Dick Wadhams “would not be surprised” if over 50% of the governing body of the Colorado Republican Party votes Saturday not to participate in open primaries anymore, falling short of the 75% that’s legally required to dump open primaries but setting the table for GOP activists to file a lawsuit that could overturn the 75% threshold and allow Republicans to eschew primaries as early as next year.

Wadhams made the comments on KHOW’s Peter Boyles show this morning in an interview in which he also cast a decidedly sour view on GOP candidates who baselessly say the last presidential election was fraudulent.

“I would not be surprised if they get over 50% of the people who show up that day,” said Wadhams on air. “And frankly, that is concerning enough to me that our state central committee, the most active Republicans around the state, might vote to support this crazy idea to eliminate the primary.

“It will not get 75%,” said Wadhams. “It will fail. But what I would wish happen, is like it would be defeated soundly. I don’t think that’ll be the case, to be honest, Peter. I think it’s past.”

A day after Heidi Ganahl, the newly minted GOP gubernatorial candidate, refused to tell reporters whether she thought the last year’s presidential election was legitimate, Wadhams said Republicans won’t be “credible in a general election” unless they say the election was not stolen.

“I think candidates ought to look at the reporter and say, ‘I do not believe the election was stolen. I do not believe we should ban 1.6 million unaffiliated voters from voting in the primary.’ And I think we just ought to take a stand on this because it’s defining our party,” Wadhams told Boyles.

“I honestly think we’ve got to have strong candidates who were willing to say, no, the election was not stolen because that’s the only way they can be credible in a general election.”

Last week, A Republican lawyer joined an ACLU of Colorado attorney in saying Republicans have a case in court to argue that the 75% threshold should be tossed out and replaced by a simple majority.

They’d have an even better argument if the party votes by over 50% to exit the primaries, say GOP activists.

The percentage required is not just based on the Republicans who show up Saturday but on the total membership of the GOP governing body, including those who aren’t present Saturday. There are different opinions on whether proxy votes will be allowed.

25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. kwtree says:

    Democrats will welcome the Unaffiliated voters that Republicans reject.

    UAFs lean lefty in Colorado anyway, except for UAFs living in ruby-red rural areas, who lean right. So if they do vote to exclude UAFs from voting in R primaries, it will hurt rural Republicans more..less turnout, fewer Donations, less participation.

    I’m OK with that. 

  2. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    "lean lefty……" But, not far left. There is a big difference.

    Center-left policies will always attract far more UAFs and disaffected Republicans than will far left, ultra progressive, positions.

    • kwtree says:

      I know that's conventional wisdom, CHB, but do you have any evidence for that?

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Seems like common sense to me. It may be there somewhere in various polling. If UAFs supported the far left stuff, they’d be registered Democrats. 

        Dems have an opportunity here, if they don’t blow it, like the overreach (for that time) on gun control back in 2012-13. They can become the solid majority here in Colorado for the next decade, if not longer.

        People like Dick Wadhams, Kevin Priola, Don Coram, Bob Rankin, few others, are now in a distinct minority in my party. The Colorado Republican party is increasing ran by the far right wingers like Burton-Brown, Boebert, Dave Williams, Corporon, Bonniwell, Tina Peters, Tancredo, Jeff Hunt, the late Bob Enyart, Dudley Brown, and their like. They haven’t figured out that their base is slowly shrinking. Yet they continue to double down instead of pursuing reasonable policy positions that can attract people from outside the so-called Trumpian base.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          If I'm reading that correctly, your short answer to the question is, "No" ??? . . .

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            Old saying…..if one is going to eavesdrop, pay attention.

          • MattC says:

            What good is data or other academic hooey when ya got common sense?

            We got former chair Wadhams to steer that boat.


            The hard truth for Colorado partisan predictors and experts with common sense is Colorado unaffiliated voters are not like typical unaffiliated voters. Most Colorado Us just hate the parties and do not want to be bothered or identified by them.

            Colorado Us vote consistently with one major party or the other – and happily there are fewer R voting Us than Ds.  This trend will continue unless or until Rs figure out what voters value or find a really, really, popular candidate.  
            D overreach is a risk – but killing Amendment 2, defeating multiple “personhood” attempts, legalizing cannabis (and psilocybin), taking guns away from felons, funding higher ed, and etc, etc is not going to be enough. 



            • Conserv. Head Banger says:

              Killing personhood initiatives and legalizing cannabis were not strictly D actions. I've never smoked anything. But telling people they can kill themselves with tobacco, but not pot, which actually is far less addictive, was idiotic. 

              As for personhood, most right-leaning people I know don't want either big government or big religion dictating what happens in bedrooms between consenting adults.

              • RepealAndReplace says:

                "As for personhood, most right-leaning people I know don't want either big government or big religion dictating what happens in bedrooms between consenting adults."

                Once upon a time, that was true. But over the past 40 years, the Christian Jihadists running the GOP have redefined the term "right-leaning" to mean zygote-loving, homophobe and transphobe.

                In 1980 when I was in grad school, I remember reading this little story in the NY Times that said that an organization calling itself the Moral Majority claimed to have taken over the Alaska Republican Party. We saw where that went. 

                Sadly, CHB, Barry Goldwater is dead and he's probably not coming back.

        • davebarnes says:

          "If UAFs supported the far left stuff, they’d be registered Democrats."
          Uh, no.
          You are UAF because:
          1. You are "above"party politics. Signaling your moral superiority.
          2. You want to receive all the primary ballots.
          3. There is zero benefit for the average voter to be a member of a party.

          • RepealAndReplace says:

            They can always register as members of the Green Party. 

          • JohnInDenver says:

            And #4.  Unaffiliated is the default registration for all those signed up to vote by checking a box on a government form — driver's license, id card, various assistance programs, and so on.  So, lots of "don't care, don't know" people start that way and never have a good reason to change.

  3. davebarnes says:

    I don't care what the G卐Pers do.
    If I want to ratfuck their primaries, then I will just register as a GOPer for a few months every election cycle.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      What “war” is that, Dickie? I’m lining the pockets of eastern Colorado ranchers at this very moment because I’m using electricity in my house. As you already know, Michael, I’m one of the 30,000 charter subscribers to Xcel Energy’s Windsource program.

      The “War on Rural Colorado” might be a useful sound bite in certain quarters (Jerry Sonnenberg, as one example). But, overall, it’s playing to a dwindling audience, because smart people in rural Colorado are selling wind and solar power to the Front Range, and because a lot of younger people are moving to bigger cities.

  4. MattC says:

    I have not followed republican politics closely since the campaign of VP/candidate Bush in 1988.

    Why does anyone care what Mr. Wadhams thinks about Colorado politics? 

    He was part of two winning R campaigns at a time when Colorado leaned R. But since the going got tough for Colorado republicans, he made the same mistakes any ole' R would make. His smartest moves seem to have been to befriend Karl Rove early on and to leave Colorado politics.  


    • Voyageur says:

      Dick is an intelligent guy and one of the few sane voices left in the Republican party.

      • MattC says:

        Well, you have explained why he loses, but that implies that Colorado voters listen to him because he is intelligent not because he will help them win. Fine by me.

      • gertie97 says:

        Agreed, V. He has his horrible habit of blasting his standard talking points before he gets to the meat of his thinking, which I think is right on. He understands the rational Republicans and knows they’re still out there, albeit very quiet these days. Many have changed to unaffiliated but are not Democrats. I live among them, many of them, here in Mesa County. They did not vote for Trump in 2020. Some held their noses and voted for Biden; others didn’t vote in the presidential race. Then they turned around and voted Republican in all other races except for Boebert.

        I think they’ll repeat that pattern — rejecting the crazies such as Boebert IF Democrats nominate a reasonable (not raving progressive) candidate. CHB is right on that score.

        • notaskinnycook says:

          Diane Mitsch Bush ran a thoroughly underwhelming campaign against Two-gun Tootsie. We may need a centrist Dem to beat her, but they're gonna need pizzazz to have a chance.

          • gertie97 says:

            A competent campaign manager — NOT from the DCC — would be a start. That and a media buyer NOT from the Front Range who understands how to reach 3rd CD voters. Hint: it's not buying Denver teevee and it's not facebook.

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