Donald Trump Files For The Colorado Primary, Will Face A Little GOP Competition

Andrew Kenney/CPR News
John “Tig” Tiegen, representing President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, files paper work with Joel Albin, ballot access manager for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019.

President Donald Trump's campaign has officially entered Colorado's presidential contest.

With paperwork filed Tuesday, Trump is set to appear as a candidate in the Republican primary election on March 3, also known as Super Tuesday.

The campaign will use its data operation to target voters across the state, especially those who are less politically engaged, according to spokesperson Christiana Purves. Their message: Trump boosted Colorado's economy.

"The bottom line is, folks are better off than they were three years ago and that is being noticed across the country and especially here in Colorado," Purves said.

Democrats expect the Trump campaign to spend millions on the attempt to flip Colorado, according to David Pourshoushtari, spokesperson for the state's Democratic Party. Democrats will counter with their own economic message.

"The unemployment rate has been dropping for years now and the Colorado economy has been booming, frankly, under Democratic leadership in the governor's mansion and the state legislature," Pourshoushtari said, adding that the state is succeeding "in spite of Trump."

But before the general election gets underway, the parties have to choose their candidates.

Trump is the presumed Republican candidate, but he already faces some competition. Two other GOP candidates are registered for the state's Republican primary: Robert Ardini and Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente.

The winner of the Super Tuesday vote will get Colorado's votes at the Republican National Convention, where the party picks its presidential candidate. The Democratic primary is on the same day.

In several other states, including Kansas and South Carolina, Republican officials have actually canceled their primaries and automatically given their support to Trump. This will be Colorado's first presidential primary since voters decided a few years ago to switch from the caucus system.

George W. Bush was the last Republican to win Colorado's votes in a presidential general election. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton beat Trump by about 136,000 votes in Colorado. That’s roughly the same amount of ballots that went to Libertarian Gary Johnson in this state.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to clarify that Purves was referring to a data operation.