Questioning ‘big lie’ about election results spills over to race for CO small town mayors
Baseless but relentless Republican attacks on the 2020 election results, known as the “big lie,” spilled over into a mayoral race in a small town on the West Slope this week.
And it turns out that the unsubstantiated and legally unsubstantiated allegations of 2020 voter fraud still being championed in 2022 by GOP candidates in Colorado such as Tina Peters and Ron Hanks may also corrode the electoral confidence of non-Republican voters.
Mayor of Gypsum since 1998, Steve Carver ran unopposed from 2002 to 2018 and won a decisive seventh four-year term on Tuesday in Eagle County’s largest incorporated city (population 8,040), located near of Glenwood Springs.
But for the first time in nearly a quarter century, Carver, a Republican, faced off against a GOP opponent: Tina Medina, an artist and small business owner of Spanish and Native American descent.
Medina, in a Zoom interview last week, said she was a political newcomer and unaffiliated voter who was running to bring more diversity to the leadership of a city where more than 30% of residents vote. identify as Latino or Hispanic.
Medina lost by a margin of around 82% to 18% (771 to 169), according to Tuesday’s unofficial results.
“It’s disappointing, but I feel like getting up and using your voice is indeed not a loss,” Medina said Wednesday morning in an email. “More Spaniards need to stand up and use their voice. We desperately need more representation in our communities.
Medina last week said she was concerned about the integrity of the election after seeing Carver on the attendee list for a fundraiser at a private home in late February in nearby Eagle.
Hosted by the controversial Eagle County Base Conservatorsthe list of participants of “The Great Mix and Mingle” also included Peters, the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder and candidate for Colorado Secretary of State who was soon after accused of 10 crimes and misdemeanors stemming from his alleged security breach of his own county’s voting systems.
Also on the list of attendees was Hanks, a Republican state representative from Cañon City who is a staunch supporter of the big lie, walked through police lines at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 and won three GOP straw polls. in his US Senate. offer.
Peters is a close associate of voter fraud conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow who headlined a campaign conspiracy rally in Denver on Tuesday with Hanks and Peters among the speakers. During the weekend, county clerks from across the state gathered to push back misinformation.
Medina last week questioned why Carver would attend this February fundraiser with Peters, Hanks and other Republicans pushing the Big Lie.
“It’s coming from somewhere you hang out with, and you have to be really aware and aware of the people you let into your circle, because those people can do things that aren’t in everyone’s best interest” , Medina said of Carver. . “[It] opened my eyes because it really makes me doubt the integrity of the election [Tuesday]. Is everyone going to be truthful and honest and do their job to the fullest? Because such claims should not be taken lightly.
After initially indicating late last week that he would answer some questions by email, Carver did not respond to several emails over the weekend and early this week.
Specifically, Carver was asked about the 2020 election results nationally and in Colorado, the Eagle fundraiser in February with Peters and Hanks, and the reliability of Tuesday’s municipal election in Gypsum. He did not answer.
“It goes all out for anyone in politics,” Medina added last week. “As I tell my kids, be very aware of who you’re dating because by association your name could be a drug in the mud for some things.”
Medina was asked why there aren’t more Latino or Hispanic political leaders in Eagle County, where more than 30 percent of its 55,731 residents identify with those ethnic groups.
“I’ve spent many nights wondering how we’re doing this, and that’s why I’m running for mayor, because for the past six months I’ve been to every town meeting and it’s been a bit uncomfortable for me,” Medina said. “I’m the only Spaniard there. I don’t see the Spanish, Latin American community, represented in my community at all when it comes to who our leaders are.
“There is no diversity and there must be. It happens like anything else, if we want change we have to stand up and we have to speak up and be the change instead of saying, “Oh, I want this to change.” Medina added. “We need to be heard.”
The majority of Gypsum voters (2,222) are unaffiliated as Medina, compared to 1,124 Republicans and 1,112 Democrats.