Feb 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Tina Peters' campaign could be "disastrous" for Colorado GOP

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters on Aug. 10 at a conference in South Dakota hosted by Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow and an ally of former President Trump. Photo via YouTube
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters on Aug. 10 at a conference in South Dakota hosted by Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow and an ally of former President Trump. Photo via YouTube

Tina Peters, the Mesa County clerk arrested after trying to kick police officers and thwart a search warrant, announced Monday that she will run for Colorado secretary of state.

Why it matters: The state's chief election denier — who is currently under federal and state investigation for election tampering — is seeking the office to oversee Colorado elections.

Quick take: Peters' bid for statewide office will create problems for all candidates on the Republican ballot because it shifts the conversation to conspiracies about the 2020 election and its outcome, a polarizing topic that splits the party and upsets independent voters.

  • If she makes it to the November ballot — which is unlikely — "that could prove to be disastrous for the GOP ticket," Republican strategist Ryan Lynch tells us.

Zoom in: Peters is ending her re-election bid for clerk and instead vying for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Jena Griswold.

  • In the primary, Peters will face a handful of other Republicans, including Pam Anderson, a former Jefferson County clerk who said Colorado's elections are secure.

In her announcement, Peters said she is running to "stand up to the Biden administration that wants to run our country in the ground with nationalized elections."

  • "Weaponizing our elections and targeting political opponents has no place in Colorado," she added.

What they're saying: Peters' campaign will energize supporters of former President Trump.

  • Bobbie Gross, her former Republican rival for Mesa County clerk, tells Axios Denver that Peters "has a following" and the investigations have not hurt her image among her audience. "A lot of voters … are just waiting to see what happens," Gross said in an interview.

This story appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard. Subscribe here.

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