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The Colorado GOP chair’s adoption of Trump-style tactics is dividing the party while he seeks to bolster his own campaign

Republicans candidates participate in a debate (Via Hayley Bell/Shutterstock)

During a recent primary debate, Dave Williams, a congressional candidate, used the microphone to repeat the same arguments that helped him rise from state representative to chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.

“We’re currently in a battle for the heart of our party,” Williams declared.

Williams’ enthusiasm and his use of former President Donald Trump’s confrontational political style as state party chairman have divided the Colorado GOP, mirroring the split seen in the national Republican Party under Trump’s influence.

However, Williams’ recent bold actions, including trying to use his position as chair to move into Congress, have escalated tensions. Some Colorado Republican officials supported him, while others called for his resignation.

Throughout this turmoil, Williams has drawn attention from Trump himself, a point he emphasized at the debate against Jeff Crank, his Republican opponent for a Colorado House seat.

Jeff Crank speaks in the hall (Hayley Bell/Shutterstock)

“I’m Dave Williams. I lead the Colorado Republican Party. And I’m endorsed by Trump,” he stated at the debate, also mentioning that he has Trump’s phone number saved in his phone.

Crank attempted to remind the audience about the controversies surrounding Williams, pointing out Williams’ refusal to step down as party chair when he entered the primary race. Crank also accused Williams of using the state party’s email list to announce his congressional campaign and spending party funds on mailers that criticized Crank.

“My opponent has spent more time battling fellow Republicans than Democrats,” Crank criticized. “Where’s the money to fight Democrats? It’s going to him, into his pocket, and into his campaign.”

Williams’ actions have gone against established norms within state Republican parties nationwide.

“He’s tearing apart the Republican party just to get to Congress,” said Kelly Maher, a seasoned GOP strategist who lodged a complaint against Williams with the Federal Elections Commission.

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