Democrats pouring millions to prop up election skeptic in Colorado GOP primary

Ron Hanks
In this Tuesday, April 5, 2022, photo, Colorado State Rep. Ron Hanks, R-Canon City, left, confers with an attendee of a rally staged to voice concerns about free and fair elections on the west steps of the State Capitol in downtown Denver. Hanks is running in the primary election against construction company owner Joe O’Dea for the Republican nomination to face Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet in the general election in November. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) David Zalubowski/AP

Democrats pouring millions to prop up election skeptic in Colorado GOP primary

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Democrats who normally condemn the GOP for members who say the 2020 election was “rigged” are now spending millions to prop up one such candidate in Colorado.

Democrats in Colorado have reportedly bankrolled over $4 million worth of ads, mailers, and more to buttress Republican Senate contender Ron Hanks in a risky gambit so incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) can face a candidate perceived as weaker in the general election.


“Ron Hanks believes Pres. Biden’s election was a fraud. If elected, he’ll try to ban all abortions, and basically get rid of gun control laws,” a text from Democratic Party volunteers to Republican voters said, the Denver Post reported.

Democratic Colorado, a liberal super PAC, has been accused of distributing mailers to voters falsely claiming that Hanks was endorsed by the Colorado Republican Party, attracting lawsuits from top rival Joe O’Dea and the state GOP.

Hanks, a state legislator running against O’Dea, a businessman, for the Republican nomination, attended former President Donald Trump’s rally at the White House ellipse before the Jan. 6 riot, but he has denied participating in the riot at the Capitol. Hanks claimed there was “evidence of fraud in multiple states” to suggest that President Joe Biden was not fairly elected.

Several months ago, he cut an advertisement blowing up a faux voting machine from Dominion Voting Systems, which has faced allegations that it tampered with the election results to the benefit of Biden. The company has adamantly denied these claims and filed multiple defamation suits against high-profile backers in response.

O’Dea has maintained that “Biden’s our president. He’s lousy,” per the Colorado Sun.

Democratic-linked groups have also worked to back other Republican primary candidates in the Centennial State perceived as being too extreme. In ads and other communications to voters, they have facetiously argued that Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Lopez and 8th Congressional District contender Lori Saine are “too conservative.”

This primary cycle has seen scores of GOP candidates who back claims that the 2020 election was an illegitimate triumph in their respective races. At least 108 candidates who have cast doubt on the 2020 election clinched Republican nominations or advanced to runoffs, according to a June 14 analysis from the Washington Post.

Some Democrats caution the trend of choosing to help right-wing opponents could backfire, saying that not every case works and that the successful boosting of Republican Todd Akin by former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in his 2012 primary race is not applicable across the country.

“This has to be done very carefully,” McCaskill cautioned, according to NPR.


Bennet has served three terms as senator and has held a double-digit lead in recent polling from ProgressNow and others. But Republicans have been expected to surf a red wave in the midterm elections, leaving Democrats scrambling for ways to stave off a total wipeout by defending incumbents in states such as Colorado and Washington.

The primary election for Colorado is slated to take place Tuesday night.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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