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February 27, 2024 10:27 AM UTC

Dave Williams' War on AFP: What About Gabe, Dave?

  • by: Colorado Pols
Colorado GOP chairman Dave Williams.

Earlier this month, the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby summarized a growing list of allegations against Colorado Republican Party chairman and congressional candidate Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams, who ever since taking the job last year has regularly employed the resources and brand of the state party in pursuit of Williams’ personal career objectives. After losing the 2022 CO-05 GOP primary to incumbent (and now retiring) Rep. Doug Lamborn, Williams slammed Lamborn in email blasts from the party’s official account, and the party has freely taken sides in Republican primaries from the presidential race down the ballot in defiance of longstanding rules prohibiting the party from primary meddling.

The latest flashpoint in Williams’ free-ranging mismanagement of the Colorado GOP concerns the endorsements recently handed out by Americans for Prosperity, the conservative “astroturf” group founded by the Koch brothers with a longstanding presence in Colorado, including the endorsement of Williams’ CO-05 primary opponent Jeff Crank. In response, Williams sent out another email blast tearing into AFP, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, and Williams’ opponent with equal vigor:

AFP raised, and promised to spend, at least $70 million against President Trump to help support globalist and open-border candidate Nikki Haley…

On December 18, 2023, AFP’s very own lobbyist and Vice-President, Jeff Crank, gave a full throttled defense of AFP’s decision to oppose President Trump while going all in for their preferred open-border candidate Nikki Haley.

…The Colorado Republican Party is urging you not to be fooled by Americans for Prosperity, even as their very own lobbyist and VicePresident, Jeff Crank, starts to backtrack and falsely claim he didn’t say what’s clearly on video that you can watch with your own eyes.

AFP, and their lobbyist anti-Trump employees, like Jeff Crank, may claim to want to defeat Joe Biden but their continued support of Nikki Haley’s failed “Never-Trump” campaign shows their hypocrisy.

We, as Republicans, need to unite around President Donald J. Trump despite AFP, and Jeff Crank’s, efforts to support Nikki Haley, which is only wasting time, energy, and money for Trump’s campaign…

Together, we can overcome the “Never-Trump” phony hypocrites like Americans for Prosperity and their sell-out lobbyists like Jeff Crank.

State Rep. Gabe-ish Evans

Since this email was sent out by Williams, Americans for Prosperity has announced that they are cutting off support for Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign, essentially saying there’s nothing anyone can do at this point to turn the tide. That’s at least in theory a big problem for Dave Williams, who has up to now been able to couch this attack on his primary opponent as part of the larger campaign to re-elect Donald Trump. AFP’s support for both Nikki Haley and Jeff Crank gave Williams an opening to utilize party resources to attack Crank, since the party had already voted to endorse Trump and urged Haley to exit the race.

With AFP decamping from Team Haley, now it’s just Dave Williams using party resources to attack Jeff Crank.

And that’s just where the trouble begins, since in addition to Jeff Crank, AFP has also endorsed candidates in two other Colorado Republican primary elections: Jeff Hurd in the now Boebert-less CO-03 and “Gabbin'” Gabe-ish Evans in the swing CO-08 race. Given that Williams is campaigning jointly with CO-03 candidate “Raging” Ron Hanks, also a party official in charge of “election integrity,” it’s reasonable to assume who the party intends to support in that race. The question is less certain in CO-08, where Republicans have no margin for self-inflicted error in the state’s most competitive congressional district. Evans has been trying to assemble a critical mass of endorsements like AFP’s and has outraised his principal opponent Scott James, but everything that Williams says about AFP’s endorsement of Jeff Crank also applies to their support for Gabe Evans. Doesn’t it?

This, gentle readers, is what collateral damage looks like. The question at long last is whether Dave Williams cares about anyone but himself.


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