It’s the role of political party leaders to promote the party rather than individuals, and so by tradition they stick to neutral corners during primary elections while voters decide which candidate to elect.
It’s easier said than done when one of the candidates is Donald Trump, whom many leaders already have a history of supporting.
Yet when it comes to Trump, some levels of support are more, shall we say, over the top than others.
Like when Colorado GOP Chairman Dave Williams ran for Congress last year in the 5th District Republican primary against incumbent Doug Lamborn and tried to change his name on the ballot to Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams, a nickname for Biden embraced by Trump.
Williams also campaigned for the top GOP post on claims the 2020 election was stolen from Trump and is mega MAGA for the former president.
So it’s understandable that other Republican presidential candidates would feel a little awkward when dealing with the Colorado GOP, knowing the party leader is already in the tank for Trump.
And then there’s the list of demands Williams has put on every Republican candidate who wishes to be on Colorado’s GOP primary ballot.
They must swear fealty to the state party and promote their website.
The candidates must feign excitement as the party extorts a huge payoff to be listed on the ballot — the only way Williams seems to be able to raise money since he became chairman.
The Colorado Sun reported recently on the new requirements by the state party that insist candidates do one of the following to qualify for our ballot:
Pay the party $40,000
Pay the party $20,000 and visit the state once
Host a fundraiser for the Colorado GOP “in any state or location during a date and time, and venue, mutually agreed to by the campaign and state party for a nonrefundable discounted rate of $20,000.00.”
Presidential campaigns must also post on X, formerly known as Twitter, and another social media platform “their excitement to be on the Colorado ballot.” The posts must tag the Colorado GOP’s username and “directly encourage their followers to follow the party’s social media accounts for updates about the party primary and events.”
Which explains why Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis poked a little fun with his announcement on Friday that he is officially on Colorado’s ballot.
DeSantis took some heat from Democrats for the joke, but we thought it was funny.
Meanwhile, Democrats’ only requirement to be on the ballot is for their candidates to still be above ground and breathing without a ventilator.
Trump followed on Saturday with his ballot announcement.
Trump passed on the other options to host a fundraiser for Williams or make a campaign appearance here, and instead paid the hefty $40,000 fee and included the required promotional statement and link to the state party.
However, Trump’s required excitement was limited to exclamation marks.
President @realDonaldTrump is on the Ballot in Colorado!
Thank you @cologop, together we will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Follow them for updates about the State Party Primary and events.
Join Team Trump today! https://t.co/mqrMDdDVk0
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) December 2, 2023
Colorado Republicans don’t usually require such a hefty fee to appear on the presidential ballot, but that seems to be the only way they can raise funds under the current leadership.