The so-called “alliance” between the Colorado Republican Party and the Colorado Libertarian Party gets more bizarre each week.
As we noted earlier this month, the Colorado Libertarian Party (LPCO) now has a questionnaire for both Federal and State level candidates in 2024 who are seeking the group’s support. That support theoretically includes a promise from the LPCO to not field a candidate in competitive districts — in order to avoid the possibility of being a spoiler for the GOP hopeful — which was the driving force behind the original idea proposed by GOP Chair Dave Williams. The LPCO, meanwhile, is pretty stoked that its 40,000-voter base now has an outsized influence on the policy decisions of Republican candidates with a much larger base of 900,000 registered voters.
As Ernest Luning reports in a fascinating story for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman, you could drive a bus through the hole in this “alliance”:
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert doesn’t plan to sign a candidate pledge released by the Colorado Libertarian Party as part of a deal struck with state Republicans to avoid potential third-party spoiler candidates next year in competitive races.
Neither does Boebert’s GOP primary challenger, Grand Junction attorney Jeff Hurd.
State Libertarians agreed earlier this summer to refrain from nominating candidates in races they might “spoil” by pulling votes from Republicans — if the Republican nominees meet the minor political party’s standards.
Under an unprecedented agreement negotiated between Colorado GOP Chairman Dave Williams and his Libertarian counterpart, Hannah Goodman, the Libertarians last week released lengthy pledges for federal and state candidates to sign.
We can’t entirely blame Boebert here, since LPCO Chairwoman Hannah Goodman has publicly shat on her already. And given that there is already a Libertarian candidate named [checks notes] Mark Ellworth Jr. in the race, the stated purpose of the Republican/Libertarian “alliance” was effectively rendered moot in CO-03 anyway.
Nevertheless, with Republican candidates in one of the most visible 2024 races wasting little time in deciding to ignore the LPCO pledge, Williams looks like even more of a boob than usual:
Williams said last week that he “[didn’t] think any serious candidate seeking our nomination in any competitive seat can ignore this,” referring to the Libertarians’ pledges, but on Monday said he isn’t concerned after Colorado Politics asked him about Boebert’s decision. [Pols emphasis]
“She may not have to given her record,” he said in a text message. “The Libertarians are always willing to consider these questions on a case-by-case basis. Ultimately, it’s the candidate’s call.”
Added Williams: “We are more focused on the open seats or seats with incumbent Democrats anyway, so this probably won’t be an issue.”
Oh, right, the big open seats in 2024. You know, like, um…that one district over by the thing…
Remember, the primary example for why this GOP/LPCO alliance was necessary in the first place was in CO-08; as the thinking goes, Republican Barbara Kirkmeyer might have defeated Democrat Yadira Caraveo in 2022 were it not for the presence of a Libertarian candidate named Dan Ward. So a Republican candidate in this district in 2024 would definitely want to sign the LPCO pledge, right?
A spokesperson for the lone Republican so far running to represent Colorado’s other toss-up U.S. House seat, the 8th Congressional District, wouldn’t say whether Weld County Commissioner Scott James plans to take the pledge.
Oh. Well, at least it’s not Kirkmeyer refusing to sign the pledge! The very next paragraph is perhaps the weirdest of them all in Luning’s story:
“We received the pledge from Chairman Dave Williams and very much look forward to the dialogue as the campaign moves forward,” James’ spokesperson told Colorado Politics in a text message. [Pols emphasis]
This is amazing. Scott James is a Republican candidate for Congress in CO-08, and the Chairman of his own political party is asking him to sign a pledge from a completely different political party. Just…think about that for a moment.
It seems inevitable that Williams will eventually agree to a separate “alliance” with the American Constitution Party that makes this whole thing even more hopelessly complicated. All for one and one for all, or whatever.