Point: Rep. Dave Williams
In 2016, the world was astonished. The people of Great Britain did something that the establishment, political pundits, high-priced consultants, and elites thought they would never do.
In a rejection of globalist advances over the past several decades by big-government interests, the people voted to leave the European Union and support the Brexit campaign for independence.
This move was earth shattering to the insiders that were, for many years, undermining freedom while carving up Europe for their corrupt financial and political gain.
Before the vote, they used a message of fear to desperately try and deceive voters into thinking that the world would end for Great Britain and that catastrophe lay ahead if the voters reclaimed their destiny by supporting Brexit.
As we speak, the political elites in Colorado who want to allow Democrats to have undue influence in our party’s nominations are dishonestly spreading a message of fear aimed at preventing Colorado Republicans from opting out of the broken open primary system that has failed our party time and time again.
On Sept. 18, Colorado Republicans have a unique opportunity to reclaim our destiny, reestablish our sovereignty, and reignite our chances to win again but only if we opt out, or rather “leave” the failed open primary system in the same fashion that Great Britain left the European Union.
This is our chance to take back control of our party. This is our Brexit moment.
The insiders and their high-priced consultants have been wrong so many times. Either deliberately or by their own incompetence, they have led our Republican Party to a minority status.
They were wrong about open primaries benefiting Republicans then, and they are still wrong about it now.
Do yourself a favor and ignore the naysayers who get it wrong year after year and use fear to cripple any meaningful change.
Opting out will allow our party to take back control by ensuring election security for our nominations. Secretary of State Jena Griswold is untrustworthy, and we shouldn’t subject our nominations to her dishonesty.
Opting out will allow our party to take back control by guaranteeing that only Republicans choose Republican nominees. We have a big tent so all are welcome to join, and every Republican who wants a vote will get a vote starting at the precinct caucuses.
Opting out will allow our party to take back control by ending the “circular firing squad” effect during open primaries while stopping dark money and out-of-state interests from spending millions to pit Republicans against Republicans. These resources would be freed up for the general election fight instead.
Opting out will allow our party to take back control by empowering county party officers and organizations as new voters and candidates flow through our grassroots caucus and assembly nomination process. We will increase engagement with these new voters, which will translate into more volunteers and donations.
As the old saying goes, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.”
We must change course and stop counting on the failed open primary to somehow gain Colorado Republicans success that will never come.
Better yet, we should stop counting on the same old political insiders who claim they know how to win but have yet to prove it.
So, on Sept. 18, please join the majority of central committee Republican leaders in support of opting out of the rigged open primary.
Please vote to “leave” and take back control of our political destiny. This is our Brexit moment to seize, so please don’t let it pass you by.
Counterpoint: Joel SorensenOn Sept. 18, the Colorado Republican State Central Committee will take a vote on whether to abolish its primary and choose its nominees through a caucus-assembly nominating process instead.
We should reject this proposal.
If the committe votes yes, it would disenfranchise over 1 million Republicans by denying them the opportunity to vote directly for their preferred candidate in races up and down the ballot, from state legislature to Congress to governor and U.S. Senate.
Instead, to have any voice, Republicans would be tasked with traveling to a designated caucus location some evening in February or March. Out of town? Out of luck. Working the night shift or caring for kids at home? Sorry, no proxies allowed.
Furthermore, those who can attend the caucus don’t get to vote directly for candidates, but only for delegates, who in turn vote for candidates at a future gathering called an assembly.
The caucus-assembly process exists, but it performs a more limited function, as only one path to the primary ballot.
Under the proposal before the State Central Committee, the caucus-assembly process would replace the primary, with the assembly winners automatically becoming our nominees.
Only 5% of Republicans attend the caucus. To compare, 37% voted in the 2018 primary.
With so few participants, the candidates nominated at the assembly are less likely than primary winners to represent the majority of Republicans.
Candidates who appeal to the Republican electorate at large risk losing to skilled political knife-fighters — who would much rather face a few insiders than rank-and-file conservatives.
In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump was rolling to the presidential nomination when he got to Colorado. But at the time, we didn’t have a presidential primary in Colorado, and Sen. Ted Cruz, who understood the caucus-assembly system well, swept the state’s delegates.
Trump rightfully lamented in the Wall Street Journal that the assembly vote did not represent the majority of Colorado Republicans.
And in the general election, not representing the majority of Republicans would be only half the problem.
Unaffiliated voters are the largest voting demographic in Colorado. Usually in the primary, unaffiliated voters receive a Republican and Democratic primary ballot — and get to choose which primary to vote in. If we abolish our primary, 1.5 million unaffiliated voters will receive only a Democrat primary ballot.
That means Democratic candidates will gain name ID while Republican candidates won’t; unaffiliated voters will know the Democrats welcome their participation and Republicans don’t; and many thousands of unaffiliated voters will cast a vote for Democratic primary candidates, and none will vote for Republicans.
Unaffiliated voters who vote for a Democrat in the primary are unlikely to vote for the Republican opposing their chosen Democrat in the general.
Republicans start at a disadvantage in Colorado. Democrats benefit from more registered voters and state media who serve as their propagandists. Only the best Republican candidates, those who appeal to the broad Republican base and to unaffiliated voters, stand a chance of winning.
Nominees selected by a limited number of assembly delegates might not be able to appeal to either.
Colorado Republicans can win big in 2022.
Failed Democratic policies are harming Coloradans. Crime and the cost of living are up while recently released test scores show that our public schools are failing.
Now, with independent redistricting commissions fixing our badly gerrymandered district lines, Republicans have a shot at being seriously competitive in legislative races and setting our beautiful state on the right course.
The door is open. Let’s not slam it in our own face.
Rep. Dave Williams (R — El Paso County) represents House District 15 in the Colorado General Assembly. Joel Sorensen is a freshman at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the youngest member of the Colorado Republican State Central Committee.