Colorado GOP Elects Kristi Burton Brown As First Woman To Lead Party In Half Century

Colorado's GOP Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown and Colorado and supporters of President Trump rally outside Rep. Jason Crow's Aurora office for an anti-impeachment protest on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.
Hayley Sanchez/CPR News
Kristi Burton Brown, pictured rallying against impeachment with supporters of former President Donald Trump on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, was elected Chair of the Colorado GOP on Saturday.

Kristi Burton Brown has been selected as the next chair of the Colorado Republican party, beating four other contenders for the position during an election held Saturday. Burton Brown previously served as the GOP party’s vice chair.   

“I am grateful for the votes & trust of the ⁦Colorado GOP State Central Committee and thrilled to be our first woman chairman since the 1970s,” said Burton Brown in a tweet. 

Burton Brown is an attorney who first gained notoriety in conservative circles as the face of the personhood amendment, an anti-abortion measure which has failed multiple times at the ballot box. She was the only woman in the race, and said she wants to broaden the Republican party’s base to reach unaffiliated voters, communities of color and millennials like herself. 

At an earlier forum hosted by the group Colorado Hispanic Republicans, she said that, if elected chair, she would focus on local issues to attract swing voters and make the party more competitive. 

“They want to know how your policies are going to affect their lives today, how it's going to change their neighborhood, their city, their community.”

Burton Brown’s position will make her one of the most high profile Republicans in the state. She’s tasked with making the conservative case to the electorate as the GOP tries to reverse some of the gains Democrats have made in recent years.

While Colorado has traditionally been a purple swing state, it’s looked increasingly blue over the last few cycles, with Democrats now controlling the legislature, all major statewide offices and both U.S Senate seats.

When the outgoing chair, Congressman Ken Buck, decided not to seek reelection to the two-year position, it opened the door for a diverse slate of contenders. 

“But make no mistake: I will NEVER stop fighting. Colorado is our home. I refuse to concede our great state to Jared Polis and let him radically transform it,” said Buck in his final email as chair. 

Burton Brown and former Secretary of State Scott Gessler were the frontrunners in the crowded field. Former Congressional candidates Casper Stockham and Rich Mancuso and political consultant Jonathan Lockwood were also in the race.