Ron Hanks video

State Rep. Ron Hanks, R-Cañon City, prepares to fire on a photocopier in a 2-minute video released on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, by his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Michael Bennet.

U.S. Senate candidate Ron Hanks released a campaign video Wednesday that depicts the Republican state lawmaker from Cañon City blowing up what appears to be a photocopier while declaring he's fighting for election integrity.

"As our next senator, I will fight for our conservative values, and I’ll start by targeting our broken election system," Hanks says in the video, as he pulls the trigger of a rifle aimed at a piece of office equipment labelled "Dominion Voting Machine."

The machine is supposed to represent voting equipment from Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems, a company that supplies equipment to most Colorado counties and has been targeted by conspiracy theorists since soon after former President Donald Trump lost last year's election.

Hanks, who filed paperwork Friday to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, says he wants to "talk about two important issues: election integrity and the Second Amendment," before describing his record in the military and the state legislature and unloading attacks on Bennet and the Biden administration.

"I am a Pro-Trump warrior and a conservative state legislator who has fought for election integrity, defended the unborn, protected the Second Amendment, and I’ve battled the liberals on taxes and mandates," Hanks says as the video shows him dropping a photocopier in a field and preparing to fire on it.

"Now, I’m running for United States Senate because Michael Bennet and our government no longer serves the people. It is an entity built for control over the masses by the power elite."

During his first session in the Colorado General Assembly earlier this year, Hanks routinely stoked controversy, including when a Democrat moved to expel him from the House because he attended the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C. He also drew criticism for joking about lynching and arguing that a constitutional provision that treated slaves as three-fifths of a human being wasn't "impugning anybody's humanity."

In the campaign video, Hanks also describes the summer's chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan and criticizes "the liberals in Congress" for wanting to raise taxes and "tell us how to live." He also boasts that he's "attended recounts and audits in multiple states," referring to a series of unsuccessful attempts by Trump supporters to find evidence to support their claims the election was rigged.

Hanks is one of six Republicans running for the nomination to take on Bennet, who is seeking a third term. Others in the running are former El Paso County GOP chair and 2008 Olympian Eli Bremer; Fort Collins developer and former city councilman Gino Campana; former oil and gas executive Erik Aadland; former congressional candidate Peter Yu; and Army veteran Juli Henry.

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