DENVER — Behind the scenes, politicians running for office will sometimes talk about topics they do not want a larger audience to hear.
Republican Colorado gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl did not want to talk about election integrity when she announced her campaign in September.
She brought that topic up at an event on the Western Slope recently and recorded by a "tracker." Tracker audio and video are terms you should become familiar with. A tracker is when one party -- in this case, the Democrats -- send someone to record the other party's candidate at a campaign event. The tracker audio of that event was shared with Next with Kyle Clark.
The part about election integrity stuck out.
"[President] Trump took them off guard. He won by such a big margin, that there was no way that they could make it -- fix, fix it, right? We've got to do that again in Colorado. We've got to have such a red tsunami, that there's no question, there's no fixing it," Ganahl said in the audio recorded at a Durango Meet and Greet on Nov. 18.
When Ganahl announced her candidacy for governor on Sept. 14, she did not want to discuss election integrity.
Political Reporter Marshall Zelinger: "As a Republican, as anybody, do you think there was fraud in the 2020 election?"
Ganahl: "Again, why all the divisive questions? Let's talk about what unites Colorado and what unites Colorado is that our kids are in trouble, crime is skyrocketing, the cost of living is out-of-control, small businesses are being shuttered. That's what the people of Colorado are focused on and what I want to focus on in my race. Let's talk the future and building a better future for Colorado."
Zelinger: "Is there anything that you still need to learn to know if you feel that there was fraud in the 2020 election?"
Ganahl: "Oh my goodness, Marshall. Let's talk about what's important to the people of Colorado. And that's kids, it's skyrocketing crime. I just said that kids are killing themselves at record rates and we want to talk about other things that aren't that important to many people."
Since that interview, Ganahl spokeswoman Lexi Swearingen said that the campaign has not seen direct evidence of election fraud, but would like their supporters' complaints about it investigated by the Secretary of State.
In Ganahl's answers from September, she mentioned kids, crime and cost of living.
In the tracker audio provided to Next with Kyle Clark from the Nov. 18 event, Ganahl explained that those are her talking points to win over unaffiliated voters.
"So, you're going to see me talk about things that the unaffiliated voter cares about, and you might be like, 'Heidi, get feistier, talk about different, you know, things that we care about.' Y'all, I care about everything that you care about. You hear me talking here, right now. But in the media and on my ads, I'm going to talk about crime and kids and the cost of living because that's what's going to win us the 7% of unaffiliated voters. We've got to be so disciplined about that. So disciplined," Ganahl said at the Durango Meet and Greet on Nov. 18.
According to Swearingen, the campaign is not saying voter integrity is not an issue. "It is an issue," she said.
"It’s along the lines of a pep talk from a coach telling her team that they need to win by such a big majority that the refs don’t matter – bad calls don’t factor in," said Swearingen.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Full Episodes of Next with Kyle Clark