UPDATE: Wherefore art thou, Felix?
Republican gubernatorial candidate
Hiedi Heidi Ganahl (finally) announced her Lieutenant Governor running mate on Monday morning.
It was not who she said it would be.
Earlier this month, Ganahl said on a right-wing radio show that she would name on July 7 an Hispanic male as her running mate — someone who was a leader in rural Colorado. That day came and went with no announcement, as 9News reported:
Ganahl spoke with Casper Stockham on KLZ 560 AM radio on July 1 and said she would make her pick on Thursday.
“We also have a great lieutenant governor pick that we’re going to announce next Thursday,” Ganahl said on the show. “But he is a, a very strong Hispanic leader from rural Colorado, who I think, will help us do the job of uniting Colorado.” [Pols emphasis]
Las Animas County Commissioner Felix Lopez was obviously Ganahl’s initial choice, but he backed out on Ganahl just before July 7. Ganahl’s campaign stayed quiet until last Friday, when it claimed that an LG announcement would be coming today (for reals this time).
This was the announcement: Ganahl has selected Danny Moore, a businessman from Centennial who only checks one of those three boxes that she talked about in a half-dozen interviews after the June 28th Primary:
Who is Danny Moore? Moore is a true “Big Lie” believer who has tried to cover his tracks with lame attempts at claiming that he is just “trying to spark a conversation.” Back in early 2021, Moore was briefly named the Chairman of the Colorado Congressional Redistricting Commission before it was revealed that he hadn’t been truthful about his “Big Lie” commitments; the rest of the Commission promptly voted 11-0 to remove Moore as Chairman despite his ridiculous attempts to claim that concerns about him were racially motivated. If Ganahl wanted to avoid more questions about her beliefs about election fraud in 2020, selecting Moore will do just the opposite.
Moore has no governing experience whatsoever, but he and Ganahl know each other from their many years working together for the Leadership Program of the Rockies, a right-wing candidate brainwashing factory.
The next obvious question is this: WHY Danny Moore? After all, Moore only checks one of the three boxes Ganahl had indicated for her running mate selection. As we noted earlier, Felix Lopez was supposed to be the Ganahl choice; 9News followed up on that story and got Lopez on the phone — briefly — before the Las Animas County Commissioner pretended he had a bad phone connection and hung up on reporter Marshall Zelinger (no, seriously — watch this 9News segment). No rational person could watch that 9News story and come away believing that Lopez was not Ganahl’s first choice. Hence this Tweet from Kyle Clark of 9News:
NEW: @heidiganahl announces backup choice for running mate, Danny Moore of Centennnial. Moore was removed from leadership of Colorado’s redistricting committee after promoting election rigging conspiracy theories. #copolitics #cogov https://t.co/4kjXrFMmMu
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) July 18, 2022
So, the short answer about “WHY Danny Moore” is this: He said yes. Seriously — that might be the main reason.
Ganahl needed someone to be her running mate, and she couldn’t spend weeks getting rejected by other candidates. Ganahl and Moore will hold an event together on Wednesday during which they will likely both get very angry about being asked about the 2020 election results. The Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) will probably send out a supportive statement and then run like hell out of Colorado for the rest of the 2022 election cycle.
If Ganahl’s LG pick seems very odd, just know that you are not alone. Colorado media outlets have generally responded to the news of Moore’s selection with much head-scratching:
From The Denver Post:
The selection of Moore is the latest example of Ganahl embracing far-right conspiracists. She’s now working on this campaign with top associates of former President Donald Trump, Brad Parscale and Boris Epshteyn, and she recently appeared on Steve Bannon’s show, WarRoom. Ganahl, an elected University of Colorado regent, has consistently declined to condemn John Eastman, the former CU visiting professor who was central in the plot to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 election.
At many points during her winning primary campaign, she refused to say whether she felt Joe Biden was legitimately elected and chastised journalists for asking her about it.
If Ganahl was seeking to erase the big-lie-adjacent blot on her reputation, she just made it a permanent stain. Danny Moore is a literal conspiracy theorist who called the ’20 election “the Democrat steal.” https://t.co/kBm8X55puA https://t.co/MUbQezS6fn
— Quentin Young (@qpyoungnews) July 18, 2022
We’ll continue to follow this story and update as necessary.