GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4) - Embattled Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters announced Monday morning that she is running for Secretary of State in Colorado. That office is currently held by Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
Peters is facing charges of obstructing a peace officer and obstructing government operations after turning herself into police last week. The criminal charge relates to an iPad the Mesa County District Attorney's Office wanted to examine.
Video of the arrest in Grand Junction went viral -- including being posted on The War Room -- a show hosted by political commentator Steve Bannon.
Peters was booked last Thursday morning then released on $500 bond.
When asked about why she is running, Peters responded in a statement, "Colorado needs a Secretary of State who will put people over the political theatre and prioritize them over politics. Colorado deserves a Secretary of State who will stand up to the Biden administration that wants to run our country in the ground with nationalized elections. That is why today I am announcing I am running for Colorado Secretary of State to restore trust and put an end to government overreach in our election process. Weaponizing our elections and targeting political opponents has no place in Colorado. We need to get back to honoring our Colorado Constitution, honoring our state legislature to craft laws through a representative government by, of, and for the people.
"Country, service, and responsibility mean something to me. I have a duty and a responsibility to stand for truth, justice and your vote. My son was a Navy SEAL and he died serving our country, and he had a saying, "Every day you don't quit, you win.
"As your next Colorado Secretary of State, I will strengthen checks and balances by following the Colorado Constitution and restoring public trust. I will put an end to reckless "emergency" rulings, government overreach, and corruption in the office of Secretary of State. I work for the people of Colorado, not special interest because everyday day we put Colorado first and don't quit we win!"
Griswold responded with the following statement:
"Tina Peters is 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 one million dollars. 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. Colorado needs a Secretary of State who will uphold the will of the people; not one who embraces conspiracies and risks Coloradans' right to vote.
"As Secretary of State, I am proud of my work to protect the right to vote for all eligible Coloradans. While overseeing four successful elections, I expanded voter access and maintained our gold standard in election security. I am excited to continue my work to ensure that every eligible voter — Republican, Democrat, and Unaffiliated, alike— has access to safe and secure elections."
The embattled clerk has been involved in an investigation into an alleged election security breach involving voting equipment from her office.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold filed a lawsuit last month to ban Peters from overseeing the 2022 elections.
Griswold's office has asked a Mesa County judge to appoint Brandi Bantz as the new Designated Election Official for Mesa County. She's also announced her intention to appoint former Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and current Mesa County Treasurer Sheila Reiner, both Republicans, as election supervisors to assist Bantz as needed.
That move is in direct response to Peters' refusal to confirm her intent to comply with security protocols as the chief election official in Mesa County. On Jan. 10, Griswold sent Peters an order and Certification and Attestation of Compliance, which would require Peters to certify that she would comply with election-related security protocols. Peters declined to sign the documents.
In November of last year, search warrants were served to Peters after voting system information turned up on public websites as revealed earlier in 2021 by Griswold. Federal agents, as well as investigators from the attorney general and district attorney's offices, were involved in the raid on Peters' home.
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