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Hours before Jefferson County Public Health passed its latest health order requiring masks to be worn in public places by those 3-years and older, a large crowd gathered in the JCPH parking lot to protest the measure.

The proposed COVID-related regulations (approved later that day on a 4-1 vote) drew the ire of those in attendance, and several GOP political hopefuls were on-hand, looking for like-minded voters to support them next November.

Laurel Imer, a GOP challenger for the Colorado District 7 congressional seat currently held by Rep. Ed Perlmutter, kicked things off saying the Jeffco Public Health Order (PHO) is “a 12-page, basically, communist manifesto,” and that if you actually read the order, the intent of it is dagerous to small businsses, individuals and children.

“Where are the county commissioners?” Imer asked. “They’re the only ones who are responsible for what happens in this county and they’re non-existent. These (Board of Health members) are unelected bureaucrats that do not have the authority to implement anything.” 

Greg Lopez and Danielle Neuschwanger, both running for governor, also stumped for the enthusiastic crowd between speeches from local workers and chants of “Let’s go Brandon,” (a right-wing euphemism for f*** Joe Biden).

Debbie Bandimere said her family business, Bandimere Speedway, will not comply with the PHO, although as an outdoor venue it is unclear how they would be impacted by an indoor mask order.

One man in the crowd displayed a sign comparing “liberal” COVID restrictions to Nazism, while a self-described lawyer explained how he will bring a case resulting in treason investigations for those implementing the health order. 

Jeffco’s Public Health Order (JCPHO) 21-006 was debated for several hours during the Nov. 22 Board of Health meeting and was passed by a 4-1 vote at 6:40 p.m. The order took effect on Nov. 24.

“The intent of this Order shall be to control and reduce the spread of COVID-19 to prevent unnecessary deaths and serious illness, to maintain consistent health care capacity in Jefferson County, and to protect individuals who live, work and play in Jefferson County,” it read.

The order goes on to say that as of Nov. 18, the CDC identified Jefferson County as an area with high transmission, with a 7-day new COVID-19 case rate of 370.92 per 100,000.