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Ganahl introduces running mate who pushed election conspiracy theories

While not her first pick, Danny Moore is Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl's running mate.

AURORA, Colo. — Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl held an official announcement of her pick for running mate Friday, a selection that was notable for multiple reasons.

On Monday, Ganahl picked retired Navy Master Chief Danny Moore as her lieutenant governor nominee. He is also the president and owner of DeNOVO Solutions, LLC and Thornberry Consulting, LLC. 

Moore was also previously chair of the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission, though he lost his leadership role last year for his election denying social media posts.

RELATED: Congressional redistricting group replaces chairman following outcry over social media posts

"Danny is a wonderful addition to our winning team," Ganahl in an announcement. "We share a common vision to lower Colorado’s soaring cost of living, gas prices, crime rates, and a commitment to making our children the priority. Together we will undo Jared Polis’ far-left policies that continue to make it impossible for hard-working Coloradans to make ends meet. We will unite Colorado behind a vision of prosperity."

At a campaign event Friday, Moore accepted running as Ganahl's pick for lieutenant governor.

"Let me be clear, I love Colorado," Moore said. "I love the people of Colorado, both Republicans and Democrats. … Those are just labels that are used to divide us. What we have in common is we are all human beings."

> The video below is from Friday's campaign event announcing Danny Moore as Heidi Ganahl's running mate:

The top ticket for the Republican Party was supposed to make a first appearance together on Wednesday at an Aurora restaurant. Wednesday was also the 10-year mark of the Aurora theater shooting.

On Tuesday morning, the campaign rescheduled the event to Friday and apologized.

"Out of respect for the lives lost and the families and community affected by the 2012 Aurora shooting, the Ganahl campaign will be moving the mistakenly scheduled Lieutenant Governor announcement event from Wednesday, July 20th to Friday, July 22nd.

The campaign apologizes for the scheduling error that resulted in insensitive timing. Heidi will be paying her respects at the 7/20 Memorial Foundation’s vigil at the Aurora Water-wise Garden."

The event will still be held at JJ's Place, a restaurant owned by Aurora City Councilmember Danielle Jurinsky.

The selection of Moore was a bit of a surprise because it was not the person Ganahl previously described as her first pick.

On KLZ 560 AM on July 1, Ganahl told guest host Casper Stockham, "We also have a great lieutenant governor pick that we're going to announce next Thursday. But he is a, a very strong Hispanic leader from rural Colorado, who I think, will help us do the job of uniting Colorado."

That does not describe Moore, an African American from Centennial.

The person she appeared to be alluding to was Republican Las Animas County Commissioner Felix Lopez. After Colorado Politics published and took down a story saying he was the running mate, Lopez told 9NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger that he wasn't sure how that information got out prematurely and that conversations were still going on.

Credit: Heidi for Governor
Danny Moore

On 850 KOA radio on Monday, Ganahl explained her pick of Moore to host Mandy Connell.

"Danny is not an election denier. He had concerns just like many people across Colorado and this country did about what happened in the election and election integrity. And as a citizen, was asking questions and made a post on Facebook that caused some drama when he was on the redistricting commission," said Ganahl.

It was not just one post, though.

  • On Jan. 7, 2021, Moore posted "by any account, the election of 2020 will go down as the most questioned election in our country's history. What we know for sure is that mass mail-in ballots can be controlled by the people you give them too [sic] (the Postman, ballot counters.) Once you hand them over you lose any voice you thought you had."
  • On Jan. 11, 2021, Moore replied to a comment saying, "no one believes that 80 million people voted for Joe Biden."
  • On Jan. 29, 2021, Moore posted about President Biden on Facebook, with a caption, "This is the guy elected by the Democrat steal."
  • On Feb. 12, 2021, Moore made another election fraud post.

"It's somewhat of a head scratcher, no doubt about it. It's going to extend those questions around Heidi Ganahl, whether she believes the election was stolen or not," said Magellan Strategies pollster David Flaherty.

Flaherty, a conservative pollster in Louisville, Colo., said that it keeps election fraud as an issue Ganahl and Moore must answer to for unaffiliated voters.

"In today, in Colorado, that question is relatively important to voters. It just extends the life of that story which we would argue is not a positive for the campaign," said Flaherty.

Those posts no longer appear on Moore's scrubbed Facebook page. Ganahl also cleaned up her social media. When she announced her candidacy in September, Ganahl downplayed how her Twitter account went from 2,000 tweets to 196.

"I've had a policy as a businessperson to clean up my social media every few months for years, it's not anything new, so I was kind of shocked by the, kind of, hoopla over it," Ganahl said in September.

"Every campaign is going to have some unforced errors at some point," said 9NEWS Republican analyst Kelly Maher. "I think that this lieutenant governor pick will probably not have as much as an effect as it feels like it has right now, today."

Maher said that a running mate selection in July is less of a concern than a voter-based issue after Labor Day.

"I don't understand all of the choices of this campaign so far, but that said, ultimately, I think that this is going to come down to these larger issues," said Maher. "What percentage of the people who are actually going to vote in November are paying attention to these issues now versus concern about filling up their gas tank? Being able to buy groceries for their families."

Does anyone care who gets picked to be the lieutenant governor running mate?

"The short answer is no," said Flaherty. "However that gaffe, if you will, occurred isn't going to help the campaign."

On his campaign for lieutenant governor, Moore said in a written announcement: "As a retired Navy Veteran and a successful small business entrepreneur with nearly 40 years of leadership experience, I will be mission-focused and deliver what is best for Colorado. It is critical that we do better, and we will."

RELATED: Heidi Ganahl wins Colorado GOP gubernatorial primary

RELATED: Heidi Ganahl hasn't announced her pick for Lieutenant Governor

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