The former Navy SEAL who served as Interior Secretary in the Trump administration endorsed Tyler Allcorn in the Republican primary for Colorado’s newly created 8th congressional district on Monday, saying the Army Special Forces veteran is the kind of fighter needed in Congress.
Ryan Zinke, a former congressman from Montana and head of a political action committee that supports conservative veterans, praised Allcorn’s military background in a statement obtained by Colorado Politics.
“President Trump trusted Tyler Allcorn to destroy ISIS in the Middle East, and I’m confident that Tyler will never stop fighting for the people of Colorado’s 8th Congressional District,” Zinke said.
“Special Forces members like Tyler are running to fight and we need fighters in Congress now more than ever. Voters in the 8th Congressional District have the opportunity to send in a Green Beret and I urge them to vote for Tyler Allcorn in the primary in June and in November against Yadira Caraveo.
Allcorn delved into combat metaphors in a statement provided by his campaign.
“Secretary Zinke is a seasoned patriot, and I’m honored to win the support of one of America’s finest warriors,” he said.
“The 8th Congressional District is full of patriots like former SEAL Six team leader Ryan Zinke who know we need a fighter in Congress, not more of the same. I was a warrior for the people when I served on the battlefields of the Middle East, and I will be a warrior for the people in Congress.
Allcorn is one of four Republicans running in Colorado’s June primary in the 8th Battleground CD, which covers parts of Adams, Larimer and Weld counties north of the Denver metro area.
Zinke, who is running in a June primary at Montana’s new congressional headquarters, resigned from his cabinet post in December 2018, saying “vicious and politically motivated attacks” had created a distraction. He represented the General District of Montana before President Donald Trump appointed him to head the Department of the Interior.
In February, the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior released a report that Zinke had abused his cabinet position to promote business development in his hometown and had lied to a federal ethics official about his involvement. Zinke called the report a “political success” and said her work with a nonprofit foundation resulted in the creation of a park where her children can go sledding, the Associated Press reported.
Zinke and the SEAL PAC he leads previously endorsed Erik Aadland, one of three Republicans seeking the nomination in the Jefferson County-based 7th Congressional District.
Other Republicans running in Colorado’s 8th CD are State Sen. Barb Kirkmeyer, R-Brighton, Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine and Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann. State Representative Yadira Caraveo, a pediatrician from Thornton, is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
Primary ballots are mailed to most Colorado ballots on June 6. They must be returned to county clerks by 7 p.m. on June 28.