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Marina Zimmerman, whose defeat in April at the Colorado Republican assembly meant her name would not appear on the June 28 GOP primary next to controversial U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, is still on the ballot as a write-in candidate in the Nov. 8 general election.
Zimmerman, a retired crane operator from Arboles, Colo., withdrew in April because she didn’t want to take votes away from state Sen. Don Coram, who petitioned his way onto the Republican primary ballot.
“After many calls and messages asking me to please not drop out of the race, but still not wanting to split the vote in the primary, I decided to file the paperwork to be a write-in in the general election,” Zimmerman wrote in an email. “There were numerous people that said if I stayed in for the general, they would feel better about voting for Coram in the primary.”
Zimmerman said she was not informed of Thursday’s GOP primary debate between Coram and Boebert at a casino in Ignacio, nor was she invited to participate.
“In fact, I was excluded from the email that even allowed for an RSVP to attend the debate,” Zimmerman said. “I found out about an hour before the debate and showed up. I was there, but they did not allow me to go in because I had not RSVP’d.”
Instead, Zimmerman said she sat in the lobby and listened to the debate on her phone, adding she has a large group of supporters who simply don’t trust Coram – a Montrose rancher and miner who’s portraying himself as a moderate alternative to Boebert.
“They do not want to vote for him in the general; they don’t want him to be their representative,” Zimmerman said. “Some just don’t like him, but most are worried by the things he has said in the press that indicate he’s afraid to push back against [former President Donald] Trump and the extremists.
“[Coram] saying that there were radicals on both sides at the ‘Capitol unrest’ and going further to say that antifa and Trump supporters alike were there, bother a lot of people,” she added. “They do not think he will stand up to the pressure of the extremists.”
Coram campaign manager J.D. Key did not return an email seeking comment on Zimmerman staying in the general election as a write-in and the criticism of Coram from her supporters.
Earlier this year, just after the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington – during which Boebert tweeted “Today is 1776” – Coram said that “Antifa (anti-fascists) and militia groups alike participated, which the FBI has directly refuted,” according to the Montrose Press.
“I think it was embarrassing. It was a radical fringe group on both sides that were there, and what ended up were emotions out of the way and all hell broke loose. That’s under scrutiny right now,” Coram told the Press.
Trump, who is under investigation for inciting the insurrection based on the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen from him – something that’s never been proven in dozens of court challenges and was refuted by his own attorney general – has endorsed Boebert for a second term.
“Congresswoman Lauren Boebert has done a fantastic job in her first term representing Colorado’s Third District. She is a fearless leader, a defender of the America First Agenda, and a fighter against the Loser RINOs and Radical Democrats,” Trump’s PAC wrote in its endorsement of Boebert.
Boebert has called the investigation by Congress into Jan. 6 insurrection a “sham witch hunt,” echoing Trump.
At Thursday’s debate, Boebert, according to Colorado Newsline, continued to “spread baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. She pointed to debunked anecdotes of ‘hundreds of thousands of ballots’ going out illegally and the presence of ‘illegal drop boxes.’
As Newsline points out, “claims of election fraud have been repeatedly debunked by experts, courts and election officials from both parties. Boebert voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.”
“I am proud that the first major action that I took in the House of Representatives was to vote to not certify some of the electoral college results from the 2020 elections,” Boebert told the audience, adding she opposes any federal election legislation.
“We do not need a D.C.-takeover of any of our elections,” she said. “That should go to the states.”
Coram reportedly agreed elections are local and state issues but to some extent pushed back on Trump and Boebert’s “big lie” about widespread 2020 election fraud.
“I’m not denying that it may be there, but I want to see it in a court of law. I look forward to 2022 and 2024, rather than a theory that might have happened in 2020,” Coram said.
Boebert remains steadfast in opposition to any new gun laws in the wake of Buffalo and Uvalde mass shootings, and has previously said the Second Amendment is for overthrowing a tyrannical government. Three Democrats are vying for the June 28 primary nod to take her on in the Nov. 8 general election.
Editor’s note and CORRECTION: This story first appeared on the Colorado Times Recorder website. It initially stated that Zimmerman “pulled out” of the GOP primary process when in fact she was defeated at the April Republican assembly.