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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KDVR) — Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters announced Monday that she intends to run for secretary of state against incumbent Jena Griswold, who is currently investigating Peters for an election security breach.

“I want to restore trust, put an end to government overreach in our election process. Weaponizing our elections and targeting political opponents has no place in Colorado,” Peters told FOX31’s sister station KREX. “We need to get back to honoring our Colorado constitution.”

Griswold’s office has been investigating Peters for an alleged security breach that involved allowing people access to voting machines before the 2020 election without properly vetting them or following proper procedure.

Peters was removed from overseeing the 2021 election during the investigation and Griswold is working to have the same done for the upcoming 2022 election. While Griswold can prevent Peters from being involved in elections, she cannot remove her from her county clerk elected position.

In a statement about the announcement, Griswold called Peters “unfit.”

“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.”

Jena Griswold

If Peters files paperwork for the secretary of state she will not be able to run for reelection as Mesa County Clerk, which she announced her intention to do last month.

“As the county clerk and reporter, my job was to preserve election records for 25 months and that I did,” Peters said. “My job as secretary of state would be to make sure that no other clerk has to go through what the three of us have in Colorado for just doing our job.”

In an unrelated case, Peters was arrested last week for obstructing a police investigation. She allegedly used an iPad to record a court hearing in which her deputy, Belinda Knisley is accused of burglary and cybercrime.

Police attempted to seize the iPad from Peters after obtaining a search warrant, but she became combative. Peters was detained briefly and turned herself in for booking the following day.

Another candidate for the state’s highest election official is Pam Anderson, who released this statement:

Regarding Tina Peters announcing for CO SOS today. I believe that Secretary of State is the most important race in Colorado. The contrast for voters for both the primary and the general has never been more clear.

In talking to voters, they say they want a return to professionalism and this office to leave behind the hyper-partisanship and drama they’ve seen over the past few years.

Coloradans continue to see what happens when these important positions are held by inexperienced and irresponsible politicians in pursuit of divisive and partisan ideological agendas.

This office should be filled by a trusted and proven professional, not by politicians only interested in using it as a political football. I believe in the oath I took three times as an experienced election official to uphold all the laws of Colorado.

I will be a fair referee—not fuel the fire of mistrust. It is time to restore Colorado’s tradition of professional and non-partisan leadership in the Secretary of State’s office.

Pam Anderson, candidate for Colorado Secretary of State