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Embattled county elections chief eyes bid for Colorado secretary of state

Mesa County Clerk-Recorder Tina Peters has already been blocked from overseeing one major election and will likely be blocked from administering the 2022 elections.

(CN) — One month after Colorado’s secretary of state sued to block Mesa County Clerk-Recorder Tina Peters from overseeing future elections, Peters announced she will run to unseat the secretary of state.

Peters first came under scrutiny in 2021 after leaking voting machine passwords and allowing unauthorized individuals to access machines during a May security update. Videos of the voting machine updates were broadcast over the social media site Telegram and the Gateway Pundit blog.

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold successfully sued to block Peters from participating in the 2021 election, then filed a second lawsuit in January to bar Peters from overseeing the 2022 primary and midterm elections.

Twenty-First Judicial District Attorney Daniel Rubinstein charged Peters on two misdemeanor charges of obstructing a peace officer and obstructing government operations. She posted bond Thursday.

Throughout the state’s voting machine investigation, Peters told supporters she is standing up for what she believes in while citing baseless election fraud conspiracies spread after Biden won the presidency in 2020.

“Every day you don’t quit, you win,” Peters told conservative personality and erstwhile Trump adviser Steve Bannon on Monday. “I won’t quit because truth matters and I won’t stop standing against corruption and standing against massive government overreach, and I’m standing against nationalized elections and this one-party rule in our state and government.”

Peters also posted the media clip on her Gettr social media account with a press release.

“Colorado needs a secretary of state who will put people over political theater," Peters said. "Colorado deserves a secretary of state that will stand up to the Biden administration which wants to run our elections into the ground. That’s why today I’m announcing I’m running for Colorado secretary of state, I want to restore trust and put an end to government overreach in our election process.”

Peters, a Republican, previously called Griswold, a Democrat, “our illustrious Queen,” characterizing the state's investigations into her conduct as a witch hunt and the secretary’s election orders as gag orders.

Griswold additionally announced investigations into the elections chiefs in Elbert and Douglas counties over similar claims of election security breaches.

In a release provided by her campaign, Griswold called Peters "unfit to be secretary of state and a danger to Colorado elections.”

“Peters compromised voting equipment to try to prove conspiracies, costing Mesa County taxpayers nearly $1 million. She works with election deniers, spreads lies about elections, was removed from overseeing the 2021 Mesa County election, and is under criminal investigation by a grand jury,” added Griswold, who has faced increasing threats of violence while in office.

As of Jan. 18, the Jena for Colorado campaign reported having nearly $1.4 million on hand.

The filing deadline for secretary of state candidates is March 15. The primary will be held on June 28.

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