Mar 10, 2022 - News

Tina Peters dismisses indictment as political theater, vows to keep campaigning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams (CQ-Roll Call, Inc), Jabin Botsford (The Washington Post), George Frey (Bloomberg)/Getty Images

Colorado's chief election denier is no longer just a novelty.

The latest: Mesa County clerk Tina Peters, a Republican candidate for secretary of state, is facing 10 criminal charges after a grand jury indicted her as part of an investigation into election tampering and misconduct.

  • Peters turned herself into the county jail hours after an arrest warrant was issued Wednesday. She sat there for hours and didn't immediately post bond, the Grand Junction Sentinel reports.
  • In an extraordinary move, Colorado GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown called on Peters to suspend her campaign later Wednesday, suggesting it would hurt the party's chances to win in the 2022 election.

Why it matters: Peters, a little-known local elected official, became a national cause célèbre among former President Trump's supporters and conspiracy theorists by falsely claiming she had evidence that 2020 voter records were destroyed.

What she's saying: In a lengthy statement issued by her campaign, Peters called the indictment "a procedural announcement."

  • She blamed the Democratic Party for "using legal muscle to indict political opponents" — even though the indictment came from a grand jury convened by a Republican district attorney.
  • And she rejected the call to suspend her campaign, saying "knowledgeable Republican voters in this June’s primary will eye roll at these trumped-up charges."

Of note: This is her second arrest in a month's time.

  • In February, she was charged with obstructing justice after attempting to kick a police officer executing a search warrant in an unrelated matter.

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. Subscribe here.

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