GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado Republican Party’s executive committee on Friday voted overwhelmingly to support the party’s chairman after he contended that the state attorney general and others tried to force him to resign his post by threatening to release details of an affair he denies.
Following a lengthy closed-door meeting, the committee voted 22-1 to support businessman Steve House, who just became the party chairman in March. Last week, House said three of his previous supporters — Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, former Rep. Tom Tancredo and Pueblo County Republican chair Becky Mizel — demanded he resign and threatened to spread word of the alleged affair. House has denied having an affair. He produced a recording of the woman who was his purported paramour saying they were never intimate and she was being used to tarnish the chairman.
Coffman, Tancredo and Mizel have denied they threatened House. But they said they wanted him to leave his post, viewing his stewardship of the party as flawed.
The vote came after Coffman spoke to the central committee behind closed doors to detail her concerns. She told reporters afterward that she had not attempted to blackmail House and that the name of his alleged paramour only came up as one of the concerns in her initial discussion with him. “It was brought up as an example of what was dishonest and indiscreet behavior by the party chair,” Coffman said.
House said that the trio were angered that he had not made former State Senator Ted Harvey, who is connected to several outspoken Colorado social conservatives, the party’s executive director. Coffman, Tancredo and Mizel have not detailed their concerns publicly, but they acknowledged that some of the concerns involved personnel matters.
After the vote, House said he still respects Coffman and is focused on the future. “Today was a day about getting through a family dispute,” he told reporters.
By Ivan Moreno, AP Writer
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