This message was sent out on the Larimer Alliance listserv on October 26, 2023.
Last Monday, October 16, the Larimer Alliance announced our endorsements for the current election to the Fort Collins City Council. In the race for the District 6 seat, we endorsed Alexander Adams based on the comprehensive responses he provided to our questionnaire on environmental issues in Northern Colorado.
On Tuesday the 17th certain information about past online activity on the part of Alexander was brought to our attention. While not central to his response to our questions, his appearances on a variety of forums advocating what can only be described as hateful and reprehensible stances on a range of social justice issues are problematic. Postings related to white nationalist and racist philosophy were particularly disturbing.
We determined to look into that history as provided in one of our local forums as well as conducting our own background checks. We also decided to reach out to Alexander directly, seeking his confirmation that he had disavowed those views, and asking for references who could speak to the sincerity of his evolving views. We have the impression that not everyone who have raised these issues have taken that step.
He met with our representatives last Friday and addressed our questions and provided some referrals as we requested. We heard from those advocates on his behalf over the weekend. These included college friends who knew him during both that troubling era as well as currently, and at least one mentor.
Since then, this information has been made public in local social media postings and in the Fort Collins Coloradoan. We cannot dispute that his past postings online are terrible, but the possibility that he has undergone a sincere change of heart in the three years since they appeared is something we can neither prove nor disprove.
We still appreciate the stances that Alexander took regarding the key environmental issues we addressed in our questionnaire. But under the circumstances we don’t feel there is enough of a track record of how he has shifted from some of the more disturbing activities in his past. With that in mind, we must withdraw our endorsement of his candidacy for the District 6 post.
We should be clear that while we do not agree with some of the conclusions he has drawn in his current work for the Firearms Research Center of the School of law at the University of Wyoming, the papers and postings he has generated in that regard are not couched in racist or hateful terms. That is an issue over which people can attempt to have reasonable disagreements, and debates about the validity of research. He has also indicated he is a fiscal conservative, but that too is not necessarily at odds with taking a stance in favor of environmental advocacy.
Second chances are something all of us may have benefited from at different times in our lives. It is our hope that if Alexander has indeed shifted in the way he communicated to us last Friday, that he will consider, if not elected to Council, other ways he might serve in our community and establish a history of a more rational and empathetic outlook on the pressing social issues of our time. He is to be commended for being willing to sit with us and answer some tough and pretty uncomfortable questions.
There may be those who question why we took so long to arrive at this decision, and we can only say we needed to pursue this on our own. The chance to communicate directly with Alexander and to hear from his close advocates and friends was an important part of that. But at this point, there are many issues of pressing importance that we need to focus on moving forward and hopefully this is something that can be put behind us all.