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June 13, 2024 01:21 PM UTC

CO Congressional Candidate Evans Refused To Say the 2020 Prez Election Was Legitimate. Then Trump Endorsed Him. Was There a Connection?

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  • by: Jason Salzman

(Gabe pro quo? — by Colorado Pols)

Originally published at the Colorado Times Recorder

The Trump Campaign won’t say whether Trump’s endorsement of Colorado congressional candidate Gabe Evans was influenced by Evans’ refusal to say, two days before the endorsement, whether he thinks the 2020 presidential election was legitimate or stolen from Trump.

Evans

During a debate on Saturday, June 1, Evans was asked directly if he’d decided “one way or the other” on whether the “election was stolen from Donald Trump,” and he replied that those “aren’t yes-no questions.”

“Mr. Evans,” asked debate moderator Ernest Luning, “you attended the Republican Women of Weld’s debate in January. You were asked whether you believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump and you said, ‘No-ish.’ … What’s the ish? Have you decided one way or the other? Was the election stolen from Donald Trump?”

Evans responded that those “aren’t yes-no questions,” saying that the election could have been tainted because information about Hunter Biden’s laptop was concealed by “big tech” companies.

Evans wasn’t asked if there were other reasons preventing him from saying definitively that the election was legitimate.

On the Monday after Saturday’s debate, Trump endorsed Evans on Truth Social, writing, “Gabe Evans is running to Represent the fantastic people of Colorado’s 8th Congressional District. A decorated Army helicopter pilot and police officer, Gabe will be an INCREDIBLE Fighter in Congress and will work hard to Grow the Economy, Lower Inflation, Uphold the Rule of Law, Defend the Border, Promote American Energy, and Support our Great Military and Police. Gabe Evans has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

On the same day, Evans, thanked Trump for the endorsement. Evans tweeted, “Thank you @realDonaldTrump for your confidence in my Fight Back Movement! I’ll always stand up for America First and I’ll always fight to end sanctuary city and Leftist policies that erode public safety and increase the cost of living. Join my Fight Back Movement today at ElectGabeEvans.com.”

Did Evans’ comment at the Saturday debate influence Mr. Trump’s decision to endorse Evans?

The Trump Campaign didn’t respond to an email asking if Evans’ stance on the 2020 presidential election influenced Trump’s decision to endorse Evans. Likewise, the Evans Campaign also did not return an email asking the same question.

Leading Republicans and contenders to be Trump’s running mate have also refused to affirm the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election, by dodging the question or embracing misinformation. Some who court Trump, like Nevada Senate candidate Sam Brown, appear to be molding their stance on the 2020 election to appease Trump.

At a rally Sunday, Trump called the Jan. 6 rioters at the U.S. Capitol “warriors.”

Political observers say Trump’s endorsement will likely help Evans in his primary race against former state lawmaker Janak Joshi. But in the long term, it could drag down his campaign in Colorado’s 8th Congressional District (CD8), which is not only the most competitive congressional district in the state, but one of the most contested in the country.

Trump and Gardner

In past Colorado election contests, Trump-endorsed candidates have mostly lost. For example, in 2020 Trump gave GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner his “total support and endorsement,” and Gardner was subsequently walloped by Democrat John Hickenlooper. U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton got Trump’s endorsement in 2020, after being Colorado’s Trump co-chair, and he lost in the GOP primary to Lauren Boebert. She snagged Trump’s endorsement in 2022 but almost lost her red district. Also in 2022, failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl said she would accept Trump’s endorsement if offered. She was thoroughly trounced. This year, in addition to Boebert and Evans, Trump endorsed congressional candidate Dave Williams, whose fate is unknown in his race against Jeff Crank in a red Colorado Springs district.

Colorado’s 8th Congressional District seat is currently occupied by Democrat Yadira Caraveo, who is the first member of Congress to represent the district, which was created in Colorado after the 2020 U.S. Census.

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