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Eagle County GOP joins in bid to oust state party chairman Dave Williams

June 11, 2024, 8:45 pm

A growing chorus of local Republican Party officials opposed to Colorado GOP chair Dave Williams’ leadership said Monday that they had collected enough signatures to trigger a special party meeting at which they plan to vote for his removal.

Dave Williams

A press release from the Jefferson County Republicans, whose chair Nancy Pallozzi has helped lead the revolt against Williams, said that the effort had gathered signatures from over 25% of the Colorado State Central Committee, a group of over 400 elected officeholders and local organizers who govern the state party. A letter with the signatures calling for the special meeting was to be delivered to Williams on Tuesday, the group said.

“Once the Chairman receives the letter, he has the ultimate decision to choose the date, time and place of the meeting,” said the release. “Our hope is that it will be in person, at a central location, at a reasonable time, and prior to the (Republican National Committee) Summer Meeting and National Convention, July 7–19.”

Williams, a far-right former state representative and close ally of former President Donald Trump, has chaired the Colorado Republican Party since July 2023, taking the helm at a time when the GOP wields less power in Colorado than at any other point in state history. He irked some fellow Republicans with his decision to preemptively endorse Trump in Colorado’s March presidential primary, and he has provoked outrage and a formal Federal Election Commission complaint with his use of state party resources to support his own candidacy in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District, where he faces establishment GOP figure Jeff Crank in the June 25 Republican primary.

The latest wave of criticism began last week following a series of anti-LGBTQ messages sent by Williams and the state GOP, including a call on social media to “burn all the pride flags this June,” and a fundraising email with an image reading “God Hates Flags,” a reference to an infamous homophobic slur used by the Westboro Baptist Church.

In an interview with Colorado Politics, Pallozzi called Williams’ rhetoric “disgusting.” Aurora City Council member Curtis Gardner said the comments caused him to change his voter registration to unaffiliated, while Valdamar Archuleta, president of the LGBTQ group Log Cabin Republicans of Colorado and the GOP candidate in Denver’s heavily Democratic 1st Congressional District, publicly repudiated the party’s endorsement of his campaign.

As of Sunday, those supporting Williams’ ouster included county-level Republican leadership in Mesa, Garfield, Delta, La Plata, Pueblo, Otero, Huerfano, Las Animas, Eagle, Teller, La Plata and Elbert counties, the Jefferson County GOP said. Under state party bylaws, a vote to remove Williams at the state central committee’s special meeting would require 60% of members in favor.

“Currently, we are confident that we will reach 60%,” the group said.

Karl Schneider, an El Paso County GOP precinct leader and county central committee member, told Newsline that he had signed a petition circulating among state Republicans, which called for the special meeting of the state committee unless Williams resigned immediately.

“He needs to go. He represents the bad side of human nature. He is a bigot and fascist. Has been since his college days,” Schneider said of Williams. “I’m glad to see grounded Republicans banding together to cure this cancer.”

Newsline’s Quentin Young contributed to this report.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Colorado Newsline, which is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: info@coloradonewsline.com. Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.

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