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Colorado Republicans take unprecedented step to oust state GOP Chair Dave Williams

Republicans leaders in Colorado sign petition aimed at removing party chairman
Republicans leaders in Colorado sign petition aimed at removing party chairman 04:00

More than 100 Republican leaders across Colorado have signed a petition aimed at removing their state party chairman from his position.

The move comes after Chair Dave Williams sent an email attacking gay pride month and referring to the LGBTQ community "godless groomers," He also called for the burning of all pride flags on social media.

It isn't the first time Williams has come under fire but, for many Republicans, it was the last straw.

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Dave Williams, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, outside the U.S. Supreme Court in February. Nathan Howard / Bloomberg via Getty Images

"Dave Williams has violated every norm, tradition, and bylaw that have governed the party for more than a hundred years all in an effort to redefine the party in the narrow, divisive, exclusionary agenda he represents," says former Colorado Republican Party Chair and CBS News Colorado analyst Dick Wadhams.

Since he took over as GOP chair, Williams has attacked Republicans who don't meet his purity test, waded into GOP primaries in violation of party bylaws and used state party resources to support his own campaign for Congress.

But an email with a subject line that said, "God Hates Pride," caused a mutiny in the Colorado GOP.

Nancy Pallozzi, chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party, said "enough is enough."

She, along with many of her counterparts across the state, has launched a petition to -- for the first time in state history -- remove their party chair.

"We said we can't do this anymore. We have to stand up for the Republicans. This is not who we are. We are not full of hate," Pallozzi said.

Within three days, Pallozzi says she was able to get more than enough signatures to force a vote by the GOP's 400-member central committee. It will take 60% of them to unseat Williams.

Pallozzi is confident it will happen: "98% of this has been nothing but positive reaction. I've only received maybe 25 emails that were against it and I just find that very enlightening that I think we're going in the right direction with this."

Williams, who has a reputation for going scorched earth on those who cross him, says he will publicize the names of anyone who signs the petition and will notify the national party of their "support for pride month."

Pallozzi says that while some people refused to sign the petition out of fear of retaliation, most had no problem making their names public: "For those that have signed up, yes, they want their name out there and they said, 'yes, you can put it all in caps too.'"

Pallozzi admits she voted for Williams as GOP chair, believing he would unify the party. She says he's done the opposite and she hopes former President Donald Trump -- who endorsed Williams for Congress -- is watching.

"I think he needs to see that Colorado is not that extreme," she said. "We are about love and respect and helping one another."

She plans to hand the petition into the state party on Tuesday and is asking that the vote happen in person, at a central location and in a reasonable amount of time. She says more than a dozen county chairs have signed the petition and many more will, she says, after getting the OK of their executive committees.

Williams says those who sign the petition are "weak establishment Republicans" who are "waging civil war." He says he won't apologize even if it means losing his position. Republicans have yet to identify a replacement.

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