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‘Stick to the role, Dave’: Colorado Republicans question actions of new state party chair

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.(KRDO)-- Former State Rep. Dave Williams was elected as the Colorado GOP chairman in March, as Colorado Republicans looked to shake things up after a rough election season.

Since then, Williams has gone after the state party's longest-tenured congressman and the party has brokered a deal with the Libertarian Party that fellow Republicans are criticizing.

We won't know until November at the earliest if Dave Williams' vision for the Colorado GOP is working. But in just a few months on the job, some conservatives are already criticizing the way he's choosing to lead the state GOP.

After his victory in the state party election, Williams said," Our party doesn't have a brand problem. Our party has a problem with feckless leaders who are ashamed of you and our conservative principles."

Republicans hoped Williams would help lift up their candidates, not bring them down.

"I don't think anyone wants to see an angry state party in Colorado," former Colorado GOP Chair Kristi Burton Brown said. Burton Brown didn't seek another term after the November election struggles.

"I think there's no question he and I run the party very differently," Burton Brown told KRDO. "Even though I would say we're equally conservative."

But If there was any question about how he'd lead before he made that statement, there wasn't any after.

From the Colorado Republican Party Twitter account on June 2, Williams attacked his former primary opponent, District 5 Rep. Doug Lamborn. Williams was unhappy with Lamborn's vote on the debt ceiling deal.

The Colorado GOP, who according to the Colorado Sun, has no current paid employees, wrote, "Colorado Republicans are fed up with say-anything politicians like Doug Lamborn who say one thing to gain power but do the opposite when they think no one is paying attention."

Colorado GOP (Twitter)

"I think defending conservative principles isn't about being angry and cussing people out, like has also been done in the last few months publicly," Burton Brown said of Williams' recent actions. She is careful not to criticize Williams heavily, saying she knows the role of a former chair versus a current.

Monument Mayor, Republican Mitch LaKind agrees.

"I certainly don't believe that the head of the party should ever be attacking members of their own party," LaKind said.

He and Burton Brown both question a recent deal the party reached with the Colorado Libertarian Party.

The deal says the Libertarians won't run a candidate against a GOP candidate, so long as the Libertarian Party views the GOP choice, or choices, as  "strong-liberty candidates." Though, Burton Brown believes the agreement has no teeth to it.

"They shouldn't get a say over who our candidates are," Burton Brown says of the deal. "Of course, our candidates are pro-liberty, but the Libertarian standard is far more than that, and it's antithetical to the Republican position in many ways."

But ultimately it's the eating their own that's got some Republicans shaking their heads most.

"Stick to the role, Dave," LaKind says. "Get GOP members elected. That's what you were elected to do."

KRDO reached out to Rep. Lamborn about Williams' comments but he didn't reply.

KRDO also reached out to Williams for an interview, but he declined. Williams wrote in a text message, "Not interested Spencer given your biased reporting and snide remarks on social media against me and the party."

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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is the weekend evening anchor, and a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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