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What Colorado Springs political party leaders are saying about Trump being barred from Colorado’s ballot 

Posted at 10:03 AM, Dec 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-21 12:10:37-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The controversy over whether or not former President Donald Trump will be on the Colorado ballot has been decided by the state's Supreme Court.

The justices ruled Tuesday that Trump is barred from appearing on Colorado's presidential primary ballot due to his part in the Jan. 6 attack.

In a 4-3 ruling, the historic judgment cited the 14th Amendment's insurrection clause, marking the first time the provision has been used to disqualify a presidential candidate.

The reaction to the ruling is clearly divided among party lines, with the majority of Republicans against it, and Democrats favoring it.

“It is unconstitutional, it has never been done, they are using the 14th amendment in the most ridiculous manner,” Chair for the El Paso County Republican Party, Vickie Tonkins, said.

However the El Paso County Republican Party was not surprised. Tonkins said people have been reaching out to express their concerns with the ruling.

“The phones have been ringing off the hook and I've been getting emails. People on the Republican side are furious. That's the word— furious,” Tonkins said.

Tonkins is calling this decision election interference.

“They are interfering with a republican party process, this is not a general election, this is a nominating process and they are telling republicans you don't get to decide who to nominate on the ticket,” Tonkins said.

Meanwhile, across the aisle, Rob Rogers with the El Paso County Democratic Party said it was time for Trump to be held accountable for his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“It's fairly clear from the language of the Constitution that someone who's participated in insurrection or rebellion is not qualified to hold certain offices within the government. So the ruling made sense to me,” Rogers said.

Democrats have been waiting for justice to be served, according to Rogers.

“I think it is going to be encouraging for a lot of democrats to finally see our legal system do its job and start to see the former president accountable for his actions,” Rogers said.

The El Paso County Democratic Party respects the court's decision, according to Rogers.

“It made sense from the perspective that due process was followed, there were attorneys in a couple of different courts that presented evidence,” Rogers said.

The El Paso County Republicans are skeptical of how the decision was made.

"These are judges, they are supposed to spend their time to know the conditions and I question, have you read it," Tonkins said.

She thinks the ruling was unconstitutional.

"They are basing this on the 14th amendment of causing an insurrection, well first of all don't you need to be convicted before you are judged on that something, well he has not been convicted and there's no evidence to convict him," Tonkins said.

The state republican party is ready to challenge this ruling with the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Tonkins.

The El Paso County Republicans said they are unsure if the decision will be overturned but they are hopeful it will be. Democrats said the Colorado Supreme Court had enough evidence to make this ruling and they are confident the US Supreme Court will do the same.

Local Colorado leaders react to Colorado Supreme Court decision