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'People are tired of us fighting': Republicans gather for unity rally in Colorado Springs

Posted at 12:51 PM, Jun 28, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS — Republican primary candidates and voters gathered at Gateway Park in Colorado Springs on Thursday night for a rally focused on bringing unity back to the party.

Jeff Crank, Republican nominee for Colorado's 5th Congressional District, organized the rally two days after the state's primary election. Crank defeated his Trump-endorsed opponent Dave Williams with 65% of the vote, according to unofficial results posted by the Secretary of State's Office.

Williams has been under fire after his controversial comments during Pride month, including his call to burn all pride flags and calling those celebrating Pride month "godless groomers." GOP leaders across the state have since called for Williams to step down from his position as GOP Chairman.

At the rally on Thursday, Crank called on Republicans to "work to unify" the party.

"People are tired of us fighting. We’re like children bickering. We can’t do that anymore. We have to be the adults in the room, we’re going to be the adults in the room moving forward here on out," said Crank.

Other El Paso County Republicans appeared at the rally, including Colorado State Representative Ken DeGraaf, 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen, El Paso County Sheriff Joe Roybal, Colorado Springs City Councilman Dave Donelson, and many other candidates running in this year's primary election.

Candi Boyer, President of the El Paso County Republican Women's Group, attended the rally and agreed there has been more division lately within the party. She blamed some tension on lingering anger from the Republican loss in the 2020 election. She said recent divisiveness was also created after the Colorado GOP began endorsing candidates in this year's primary election, breaking a decades-old tradition of staying neutral. Boyer said her group's bylaws prohibit them from choosing one Republican over another.

"By not picking one over the other, we are on a level playing field. And we need to have that level playing field," said Boyer.

The Colorado GOP endorsed 18 candidates in contested races for June's primary election. Only four of those candidates are expected to win.

Ava Flanell said the messaging from leaders within the Colorado GOP does not reflect the party as a whole anymore.

"I do think that the GOP probably needs, I think, that it needs to maybe head in the direction that a lot of the people in Colorado are heading and I don't think that they speak for the party as a whole anymore," said Flanell. "I think that Colorado, what we've found is a lot of people are very moderate now."

During Thursday's rally, Crank called on the crowd to move on to the next goal, which he said was electing Former President Donald Trump to office in November.

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