GOP distancing itself from state House candidate

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DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Republican Party is trying to distance itself from a GOP candidate running for the state House.

Gordon Klingenschmitt of Colorado Springs has compared President Barack Obama to a demon and considers homosexuality a sin. He’s a former U.S. Navy chaplain who narrowly prevailed in a GOP primary this week.

Klingenschmitt, 46, appears on a daily half-hour religious show broadcast on DirectTV, where he often compares the president to a demon.

“Father in heaven, we pray against the domestic enemies of the Constitution - against this demon of tyranny who is using the White House,” Klingenschmitt said in one episode.

Klingenschmitt has also said the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” causes cancer.

State Republican Party chairman Ryan Call told The Denver Post (http://dpo.st/1nM8epx) that Klingenschmitt does not speak on behalf of the party.

“Gordon does not speak on behalf of the Republican Party. To suggest otherwise is inaccurate and dishonest,” Call told the newspaper for a story published Friday.

Klingenschmitt, an Air Force Academy graduate, served 20 years in military before he was reprimanded and honorably discharged from the Navy for wearing his uniform at a protest in front of the White House.

The former Navy chaplain said he was taking a stand against a military policy that prevented prayers “in Jesus name.” The policy was later changed.

House District 15 is heavily Republican, making Klingenschmitt the likely victor in November against Democrat Lois Fornander. Fornander is hoping Klingeschmitt’s views will make the race more competitive,

“If voters truly understand how limited and extreme his vision for legislation is, then they will want an option,” Fornander told the newspaper.

The seat is currently held by Republican Rep. Mark Waller, who ran for state attorney general but withdrew.

Before that, the seat belonged to former Rep. Douglas Bruce, architect of Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Bruce was convicted of tax evasion in 2011.

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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