Colorado GOP leaders on Saturday shot down a proposal from the far-right to close off party primary contests to all but a few thousand die-hards.
That proposal needed 75% support from the roughly 500 party leaders eligible to vote, according to state law. It got only about one-third support, however, according to party leaders.
The vote was held at the state party’s Central Committee meeting in Pueblo. The opt-out plan would have kicked unaffiliated voters and most Republicans — together, about 2.5 million Coloradans — out of the candidate nominating process for federal offices, the governorship, other statewide offices and seats in the state House and Senate.
It was backed by a staunchly conservative faction that believes the party has gone weak and opposes cooperation with the Democrats who now control almost every major office in Colorado. Had the group gotten its way, party nominees would have been selected through the caucus and assembly, an in-person process that involves just a sliver of registered Republicans.
“Thank god,” Central Committee member Kaye Ferry, chair of the Eagle County Republicans, said after the vote. “It means that we have not disenfranchised a million voters, we haven’t disenfranchised all the military, all the people that can’t make it to caucus. In my opinion it was the height of insanity to think this was the way to go.”