(Welcome to the previously unthinkable — Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Despite losing the election to lead the Colorado Republican Party last weekend, former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters may yet have a role in leading the state GOP. Peters says she’s considering a party leadership position offered to her by newly elected Chair Dave Williams, who won his election with Peters’ help.
Peters first teased her possibly joining Williams in a March 12 tweet, in which she taunted Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold for noting that by electing Williams, the state GOP had just endorsed election denialism.
Peters replied, “This is great. … Wait until she sees who’s Executive Director. That’s REALLY going to blow her mind… wait for it! Taking back Colorado.”
Via text, Peters confirmed that she is thinking about Williams’ offer.
“I’m considering it,” said Peters. “Will evaluate if it’s the right step for me, the state and the people that I love and serve.”
Williams himself publicly addressed Peters’ potential hiring earlier this week during an interview with KNUS radio host Dan Caplis.
CAPLIS: But there’s there’s a lot of chatter on social media that you may be considering appointing Tina Peters as executive director of the GOP. Is there any truth to that?
WILLIAMS: So all the candidates that ran, I’ve already given them the invitation to have some sort of formal role. As it relates to executive director, we’re not even going to have that title anymore. For Tina, she is welcome to join us should she want to and we’ve engaged on what that looks like. But that’s true for Aaron Wood. That’s true for Erik Aadland, that’s true for Casper [Stockham]. And you know, to both Kevins [Lundberg and McCarney] in the race. It’s a matter of trying to get everyone squared away so that we have a good team of rivals, so to speak, where we can be firing on all cylinders and win for the party again.” Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams on the Dan Caplis Show, March 13, 2023
Peters wasn’t the only opponent to throw her support to Williams. Former state Sen. Kevin Lundberg did the same. Via email, he told the Colorado Times Recorder that his decision to support Williams happened quickly and wasn’t predicated on any sort of quid pro quo.
“My agreeing to support David with Tina happened about 30 seconds before she announced it,” said Lundberg. “I have offered to help David in any way I can, but not in any professional way, just as a volunteer for the party. Erik [Aadland] is a good man, but very little experience and history in working with the GOP. David’s work in the legislature and with the party gives him a big advantage in hitting the ground running.”
Aadland, who was by far Williams’ closest opponent in the race for chair, did not respond to a voicemail requesting comment as to whether he and Williams have discussed his having a leadership role in the party and whether such a position even interests him. This article will be updated with any response received.
However Williams’ overtures to his recent chair opponents are received, they don’t solve the most glaring division with the state GOP: the gap between far-right MAGA members like Williams, Peters, and Lundberg, and the more moderate, “establishment” Republicans, many of whom, such as former chair Dick Wadhams, expressed dismay over the entire field of candidates for chair. In a recent Facebook exchange, several longtime party stalwarts engaged with Williams, asking him to please reach out to fellow Republicans even if he disagrees with them. Williams assured one former legislator, former GOP Minority Leader Mark Waller, that he’s always welcome in the party.
Former state Rep. Polly Lawrence and current state Sen. Larry Liston also chimed in, echoing Waller’s concerns over the current state of the party. While Williams’ reply to Waller was conciliatory, those words may ring hollow if he indeed picks Peters, an election denier currently awaiting trial on seven election-related felonies, to help him run the party.
In addition to whatever new political leadership position Peters takes on, she’ll have to juggle it with another new endeavor: podcast host. The Tina Peters Show launched last month on Badlands Media, an online network run by QAnon promoter Jon Herold, aka “Patel Patriot.”
Herold is best known for promoting a conspiracy theory which he says “mirrors closely to Q,” that Trump is secretly still the president. Peters’ latest guest was former Newsmax reporter Lara Logan, who was fired by the far-right outlet last October after an on-air QAnon rant in which she said claimed world leaders “drink the blood of children.”