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Former Colorado GOP Chair Wadhams says he won’t vote for Trump in 2024

March 5, 2024, 6:07 pm

Colorado Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams.

One of the Colorado Republican Party’s most successful campaign strategists told a right-wing radio host last week that he won’t vote for Trump if the former president wins the Republican presidential nomination and appears on the November election ballot.

Asked by KHOW radio host Dan Caplis Feb. 28 if he will “vote for Donald Trump on Election Day, if he’s the nominee,” former Colorado Republican Party Chair Dick Wadhams replied, “No, I’m not going to, Dan. I’m just going to tell ya, I’m not. I cannot stand this stolen election conspiracy crap. I cannot stand how he behaved on January 6th. He drives me nuts when he attacks Nikki Haley’s husband for not being with her on the campaign trail because he’s being deployed in Africa as part of the American military. No, I’m just with it. I hate this choice.”

“Trump and his supporters, including the people who run the party in Colorado, have made it very clear,” continued Wadhams, who last year thought Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could win Colorado. “They don’t want conservatives like me involved in the Republican Party. They don’t even consider us Republicans. They consider us RINOs and the dreaded establishment.” 

“And not one of them has ever won a real election for anything in this state.”

In recent years, Wadhams’ anger at MAGA Republicans has boiled over, but he’s never joined the “Never Trump:” wing of the party and renounced voting for Trump. 

Instead, Wadhams has loyally stood behind the Republican Party, even as he’s trashed its incarnation in Colorado, boosting both his GOP allies and at times his MAGA opponents, even as they spout the same election conspiracies that Wadhams condemns as false and politically toxic. 

For example, prior to Colorado’s 2022 primary election, Wadhams was a moderator at a GOP congressional primary debate. After three of four Republican congressional candidates at the event either brazenly dodged his questions about fraud in the 2020 election or delivered baseless election conspiracy theories, Wadhams told the audience at the conclusion of the debate that he’d “rarely seen a forum with four more articulate, thoughtful” candidates.

Some allies of Wadhams within Colorado’s Republican Party are sticking with Trump, saying publicly that they’ll vote for him. Notable examples are Jon Caldara, who directs the libertarian Independence Institute, for which Wadhams sits on the board. And district attorney candidate George Brauchler

During his interview with Caplis, Wadhams listed some of the Republican politicians he’s worked with during his career: former Colorado Senators Bill Armstrong, Hank Brown, Conrad Burns, and Wayne Allard; Sen. John Thune of South Dakota; and former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens. He also worked for former Virginia Gov. George Allen, who barely lost in 2006 after delivering his notorious “macaca” slur.

“I’ve heard that the people who run the Republican Party in Colorado right now disparage the people who have been elected before, the people I just mentioned, that they were RINOs,” said Wadhams. “They don’t count. It was easy to win back then. And so, no, I’m just done with it. I am done with that whole movement. And whatever happens in November is going to happen, but it’s not going to be with my vote.”

Wadhams, who’s said he voted for Trump twice before, didn’t return a phone message asking if he was planning to vote for Biden if Trump’s name is staring at him on the November ballot. It’s not known if he will be actively encouraging voters to dump Trump.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on the Colorado Times Recorder website.

One Response to Former Colorado GOP Chair Wadhams says he won’t vote for Trump in 2024

  1. Duane Stevens Reply

    March 8, 2024 at 5:58 am

    If this guy is the Republicans most successful campaign strategist they’re in big trouble. The state has turned from purple to blue using his strategy. Wadhams is so out of touch with voter he thought DeSantis could win Colorado. He just doesn’t get the Maga movement and why voters are sick of weak career politicians. Looking at the overwhelming support for Trump in the Colorado primary this guy is obviously not suited to strategize for the Republican party.

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