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Kristi Burton Brown (left) and Scott Gessler (right). Photos: Courtesy of Burton Brown; Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/Getty Images

Colorado Republican activists will meet Saturday to elect a new leader who can take them beyond the era of Donald Trump.

Why it matters: The GOP chair is the face of the party who will sell its message to voters ahead of the midterm elections, when Republicans will try to break the Democratic stronghold in Colorado.

  • In the past decade, Republicans saw their hold on power erode to one statewide position and the party cycled through different leaders in each of the last five election cycles.

The state of play: Five candidates are running for the post — including one who voted for President Biden — but two have emerged as the frontrunners.

  • Kristi Burton Brown, the party's 33-year-old current vice chair, says she can lead a new generation of conservatives.
    • She rose to prominence pushing the failed personhood amendment in 2008.
    • She would be the first woman elected to lead the party since the late 1970s and is endorsed by Rep. Lauren Boebert.
  • Scott Gessler, the 55-year-old former secretary of state, says his experience would allow him to hold Democrats and the media accountable.
    • He is touting his role as an attorney and elections expert working to challenge the 2020 election for Trump's campaign.
    • He believes the party can win voters with conservative solutions to problems.

Between the lines: The party's ranks dwindled under Trump, meaning the GOP will need to convert middle-minded unaffiliated voters to win in 2022.

  • But so far, much of the chair's race is focused on echoing Trump's unsubstantiated claims that fraud cost him the election.

How it works: About 500 members of the party's central governing committee will decide the next chairperson.

  • The election will take place in person and online starting at 9am, but party officials said the media are not allowed to attend the actual event because of COVID-19 capacity concerns.

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

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Go deeper

Mar 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Trump pollster identifies top 7 issue groups within GOP

Expand chart
Data: Fabrizio, Lee & Associates; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The post-Trump Republican Party cares most about issues in seven key categories, with most prioritizing economic issues like job creation and limited government, according to a new survey conducted by former President Trump's chief 2016 and 2020 pollster.

Why it matters: The survey of 1,264 GOP voters comes as Republican lawmakers are struggling to navigate the future of the party amid a Democratic administration. It could help guide key messaging areas ahead of the 2022 midterms.

Georgia governor signs law curbing voting access

Photo: Megan Varner via Getty Images

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a sweeping, GOP-sponsored overhaul to the state's election law on Thursday.

Why it matters: It is the first battleground state to pass such a law in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

House race shows Latino pushback over migrant increase

Sedillo López and Reyes in New Mexico. Photos via campaigns

This story is from Axios Latino, a new collaboration with Noticias Telemundo that launches today. Sign up here.

A special election to fill Interior Secretary Deb Haaland's former House seat is revealing growing frustration among Latino candidates about the Biden administration's handling of rising migration at the southern border.

Why it matters: The dynamics in this race in a Democratic-leaning and heavily Hispanic central New Mexico district representing Albuquerque could be an early indicator of how Latino voters assess President Biden's performance in office.