– A Colorado county clerk who is a proponent of former President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud and is facing investigation for an alleged breach of voting machines on Monday launched a run to be that state’s top election official.
Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters cited “public conflict over the integrity of 2020’s presidential election results” in announcing her bid for secretary of state.
“Colorado deserves a secretary of state who will stand up to the Biden administration that wants to run our country into the ground with nationalized elections,” Peters, a Republican, said in a statement.
Numerous courts, state officials and members of Trump’s own administration have rejected his claims of widespread voting fraud as false.
The FBI said in August that it had opened an investigation into a suspected security breach of voting equipment in Mesa County – a violation that Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold has accused Peters of facilitating.
Griswold, who de-certified the county’s election machines after the breach, said in a statement that Peters was “unfit” to hold her position, calling her a “danger” to the state’s elections.
“She works with election deniers, spreads lies about elections, was removed from overseeing the 2021 Mesa County election, and is under criminal investigation by a grand jury,” Griswold said.
Peters, who has denied any wrongdoing, announced her candidacy earlier on a show hosted by former Trump advisor Steve Bannon.
Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser have also revealed a grand jury investigation into the suspected breach, including allegations that equipment was tampered with.
Peters’ move comes a few days after Wisconsin state Representative Timothy Ramthun, a Republican who has falsely claimed that Trump won the battleground state over President Joe Biden, launched his candidacy for Wisconsin governor.
(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by Scott Malone and Stephen Coates)