Colorado’s 2020 election, or at least the vote tally in Weld County, accurately reflects voter intent, according to the Republican Candidates for Colorado’s new 8th Congressional district.
“The Weld County election was not stolen. We have a Republican county clerk that has been running the elections in this country for over 17 years, and she’s doing a great job,” said State Senator Barbara Kirkmeyer at the Republican Women of Weld County candidate forum.
Kirkmeyer was joined by candidates Tyler Allcorn, Jewels Gray and Jan Kulmann March 3 at Fort Lupton’s Recreation Center. Dick Wadhams, veteran political strategist and former Colorado State Republican Chairman, was the moderator and Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams was the time-keeper.
Wadham asked the group if the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump and Weld County. They agreed that it was not, but agreed that the result was unfortunate.
Senator Kirkmeyer represents Colorado’s district 23 and serves on the education, health and human services, and local government committees. Kirkmeyer said she noted many people said they disliked then-president Donald Trump while campaigning around Broomfield before the 2020 vote.
“They didn’t like Trump or his personality- it had nothing to do with his policies- they were suburban moms,” said Kirkmeyer. “Over the last few years, 45% of the people in this state are registered to vote as unaffiliated. It has changed dramatically. We need reform and get rid of same-day registration with ballot policy. We need to purge our voter rolls and no way should we ever federalize our elections.”
Kulmann, the current Mayor of Thornton and an oil industry engineer, said she believes that Biden is the worst president ever, but unfortunately, he is our president.
“I love this question because as Republicans, we are constantly asking each other this question over and over again because the left wants us to focus on that,” said Kulmann. “We need to look forward to 2022 and take back the house. It does not matter if we ask questions on election integrity. I’m tired of being called a conspiracy theorist just because I want to make sure our elections are fair. It’s not a dumb question.”
Former Army Special Forces Green Beret Allcorn agreed that the presidential election was not stolen.
“As a veteran overseas and fighting for democracy, liberating the oppressed, coming home with the idea the election could be stolen- it hurts,” said Allcorn. “President Biden, unfortunately, is our president. Nothing that we can do to change it.”
That said, Allcorn said Coloradoans must pursue voting reform. Americans should never need to question our elections. We need voter ID, and we need to do away with mail-in ballots, he said.
“We shouldn’t be trying to federalize it like Joe Biden wants to do- it’s unacceptable,” Allcorn said. “Biden is saying he’s not sure about the legitimacy of the next election, we don’t pass those laws. The law is anyone can vote, not people that are actually allowed to vote. “
Jewels Gray, an award-winning photographer, business owner and educator agreed that it’s a horrible idea to let the federal government take over our elections.
Gray said, “We should have faith that every single legal vote counted. We need to understand that people believe it was a fraud and people who do not. There are too many irregularities to ignore- suitcases pulled out from under tables -windows covered,” she said.
She, too, said voting must be an in-person matter.
“We do need to end mail-in ballot and absentee voting,” Gray said. “We need to go back to in-person voting.”
She did have some reforms in mind to boost voting.
“It would help to have election day on Saturday or make a national holiday so people don’t have to miss work,” she said. “We need to end the voting machines because they’re too vulnerable to hacking. We need to clean up the voter rolls so dead people are not voting. And voter ID and signature verification are very important.”
Fixing the oil industry
With war in Ukraine threatening to make oil prices rise, the candidates agreed we need to do what we can to resurrect domestic oil. They agreed that the Keystone Pipeline needs to be built, new oil and gas policies must be repealed and drilling should be permitted on federal land.
Kirkmeyer says we need to overturn the president’s executive orders that stopped leasing federal lands.
“Forty percent of our properties are on federal land needs to be opened up and leased,” said Kirkmeyer. “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) kills oil and gas in water quality and air quality regulations. Like Congress, we need to pass laws to rein in the EPA. Also, take away this state privacy on EPA, so they can’t pass the air quality and water quality regulations,” she said.
Kulmann said she has more than 23 years of experience in the oil and gas industry as an engineer, and 15-years of her career has been in Weld County.
“I’ve seen firsthand the policies in Colorado and across the country what has been done to my industry. I am the director of Law Construction in charge of drilling fracking, engineering facilities and construction for my company. Before Biden became president, the oil and gas production in Colorado was released out of the strategic reserve after one year of production, “ said Kulmann.
“We are missing out on a huge opportunity here,” she said. “Colorado has the resources; the oil and gas industry has the technology better than anyone else in the world. So we can show the rest of the world how to do it right, how to be efficient and how to be environmentally friendly.”
Allcorn’s father was an oil and gas worker and met officials with the oil and gas industry.
“I asked them, is it necessary for us to be successful to unleash the oil and gas industry? They told me- get out of the way! We need the government to get out of the way of what they are trying to accomplish,” said Allcorn.
“We need the government to stop preventing us from being able to access the oil and gas dollars we have here in this country. We should be energy independent as a net exporter of liquid natural gas. The green energy that the President and Nancy Pelosi are talking about is not right. We cannot replace the energy that the oil and gas industry provides.”
Gray says ninety percent of Colorado oil and gas comes from Weld County, and 4% comes from Adams County. We need to get the federal lands permitted.
“I’m not an expert in the oil and gas industry but I’ve learned every day by touring sites and drilling sites. We can start on the congressional level, and put pressure on the state level with our governor to not block those.”
Allcorn says the out-of-control spending of the Democrats is what’s causing inflation because they are giving too much money for free to individuals and causes that are not necessary.
“The cost of our ability to do business in this country has gotten too high,” said Allcorn. “The types of policies that Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are trying to pass is causing this. We must get inflationary needless spending under control. We need to open up our own gas industry to drive down prices that are affecting people at the gas pump in the grocery stores and every aspect of their lives. It’s incredibly important to get our spending under control.”
Gray said we can’t just print money out of thin air, and Congress must stick to a balanced budget.
“The last time the federal budget was balanced was 2001 when Clinton was president and that’s over 20 years,” she said. “We must reverse the effect of spending, starting with oil and gas, Keystone Pipeline and open federal land- being energy independent.”
Kirkmeyer we should not have a revenue problem in this country.
“We need to balance the budget, zero out the debt and cut taxes,” Kirkmeyer said. “We need to get Americans back to work and stop paying Americans not for not going to work. The COVID lockdown put us into the situation where we don’t want people working, so we cut off our supply chain,” she said.
“So we’ve got to get Americans back to work; we have to stop paying Americans to not go to work. If we continue to raise the debt ceiling, there has to be an appropriate cut on the other side of the ledger before you start trying to raise the debt ceiling. It’s why we are in this situation- they can’t control themselves.”
Kirkmeyer added, “The build-back deal is $5 trillion more debt and we were at $30 trillion. Again, put it in the perspective of $90,000 of debt for every man, woman and child in the United States. They have to stop the deficit spending.”
It’s impacting our pocketbooks every day at the pump, and the grocery store, Kulmann said.
“As a mom, my job is to make sure my kids have food and are healthy. At the grocery store, you are spending another $100 on the same groceries we bought a year ago and also at the gas pump.”
“As an engineer, I have a 30% inflation increase on the pipe in oil and gas from my drilling rig. This is something that’s happened over the last year and a half. After the shutdown, the government started putting more regulations and increased the spending,” Kulmann added.
“The quickest way to fix it is to open up the supply chain, make sure that we can get the goods we need here. How many times have you gone to the grocery store, you can’t find bread or the milk because shelves are empty?”
Candidates said there must be an effort to help our police officers, not the people they arrest.
“What been occurring the last two years on a national level is this whole movement to defund the police. We need to defend our police on the federal level,” Kirkmeyer said.
It’s been a demoralizing situation, especially in Colorado, with Senate Bill 217, she said. We need to fund for additional training to recruit and retain them.
Kulmann says her job was to fund the Thornton police department fully.
“Last summer during the riots in downtown Denver, we were watching them tear apart our capitol,” Kulmann said. “I took a different stance, I stood behind my police officers. Not only did we help them out, but we actually fully funded them and added officers. These men and women are protecting our community every single day.
Allcorn said, “The rhetoric from the left needs to stop; we should be supporting and defending our first responders. They passed the law to take fentanyl from a felony to a misdemeanor for less than four grams. It is statutes like that which are putting our first responders and our police officers at risk. Fentanyl has killed 1000s of people, and it is unacceptable.”
“We need good principled conservatives in D.C. who understand the risk of putting our police officers,” he said. “We need to make sure that people are not coming across that border illegally, and we need to stop the flow of drugs and crime.”
Gray said the crime wave in our nation started at our southern border. We have no choice but to defend it, close it and build the wall.
“Colorado is number one in the nation for vehicle deaths. The perpetrators are released with little or no bail and are right back on the streets, sometimes the same day,” Gray said. “Where’s the accountability? The emphasis has changed to protect the offenders and not the victims. And defunding the police is never a good idea. We’re now seeing the Democrats backpedaling badly.
“We definitely need to get our funding and training to our police officers nationwide. Our communities need to be protected by law enforcement and they are required to carry their own liability insurance. We wouldn’t want to put that on anyone in that position. I’m a proponent of the second amendment that we are able to legally possess firearms to defend our family and our property.”