Kevin McCarney joins Colorado GOP chair race with days to go before election

By: - March 6, 2023 11:05 am

Then-Mesa County Republican Party chair Kevin McCarney talks with Stand For the Constitution member Cory Anderson at an election night watch party for Rep. Lauren Boebert at Warehouse25sixty-five Kitchen + Bar in Grand Junction on June 28, 2022. (Sharon Sullivan for Colorado Newsline)

Kevin McCarney, former chair of the Republican Party of Mesa County, announced his candidacy for chair of the Colorado Republican Party.

McCarney becomes the seventh candidate in the race, with the March 11 election just days away.

“We are at a crossroads for Republicans in Colorado. We have a tremendous decision in front of us. Will we unify? Or will we continue to tear ourselves apart,” McCarney wrote in an email, obtained by Newsline, sent to other Colorado Republicans on Sunday evening. “We squandered thousands of votes just because we refuse to get along. I am not saying we need to all sing Kumbaya, but if we fail to even marginally come together, we will consign ourselves to (irrelevance).”


Republicans in the state are in a historic era of weakness. Democrats control every statewide office and have strong majorities in both chambers of the Legislature. Infighting has roiled the party in recent months, most visibly as state party officials voted to sideline the chair of the biggest GOP county party during the El Paso County GOP elections for party executives. In August, McCarney publicly called on former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters to resign and accused her of identity theft in a case that involves an election security breach in Peters’ own office. Peters faces felony charges in the case.

Peters is one of six candidates who had previously joined the race for state GOP chair. The other candidates are Erik Aadland, Kevin Lungberg, Casper Stockham, Dave Williams and Aaron Wood.

McCarney said his “first idea” is to organize more ballot “harvesting” for Republican candidates. In Colorado, a person is allowed to deliver no more than 10 ballots in an election. Republicans have lamented that Democrats have gained an advantage by exploiting this provision to get out the vote.

“We need to form The Brigade of Ballot Harvesters,” McCarney wrote in his email. “It is just one of the ways the Left are beating us and the easiest to correct. Everywhere there are Republicans, we should have a local group of volunteers making sure every potential GOP Ballot gets cast.”

Members of the state Republican Central Committee will vote on a new chair Saturday at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Loveland. Current Chair Kristi Burton Brown decided not to run for a second term.


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