As reported in the days after the El Paso County GOP elections February 6th, former Chair Vickie Tonkins held an illegal election to re-elect herself as Chairperson of the El Paso County GOP.
On January 24th, a text went out to FEC United members, a text which did not go out to the rest of the El Paso County GOP.
The text called for FEC members to email John Pitchford to sign up as precinct leaders or show up at El Paso County GOP headquarters that same day to enroll as GOP leaders, no questions asked. The text wasn’t sent to the rest of the county GOP members, just FEC United members, causing a bylaw violation that helped strike down the election results on February 6th. Additionally, Pitchford, not an elected party official, cannot sign off on precinct or division leader forms.
At that meeting for FEC members only, Vickie Tonkins and John Pitchford called FEC United members, one by one, into Pitchford’s office to sign them up as party leaders. Those who weren’t invited, as in the rest of the El Paso County GOP, have a solid argument that they weren’t given the opportunity to attend the meeting, thus leaving them with no ability to vote out Tonkins as Chair.
Vickie Tonkins won her re-election as Chair by only seven votes. At the illegal vote stacking soirée held by FEC, Tonkins, and Pitchford on January 24th, she and Pitchford signed up at least fifteen FEC United members as party leaders, ensuring a Tonkins win, and that’s not Tonkins’s only misstep with FEC United or otherwise.
Between February 6th and February 14th, forty El Paso County GOP members submitted complaints and proof to the state committee showing that they weren’t allowed to vote due to Tonkins’s self-imposed restrictions.
On Monday night, March 8th, the GOP state executive committee met behind closed doors to decide the fate of the illegal election. After hearing arguments from well-respected GOP officials about the unfairness of the election, the committee voted to allow disenfranchised members to vote again. The Amendment was not accepted outright, but the committee will allow re-votes.
That vote could seal the fate of Vickie Tonkins, who will most likely blame her public ousting on systemic racism like she blamed her faults in the Spring of 2020 on inherent racism in elected officials. The Democrat party may just have the perfect position for Tonkins.
Only three executive committee members voted against a re-vote; one of them was Kristi Burton Brown, aligned with FEC United and the Tonkins crowd, appearing at the El Paso County meeting February 6th.
Additionally, this move successfully draws a line in the sand between the El Paso County GOP, the Colorado GOP, and FEC United, Tonkins’s ally, which is mired in controversy.