Colorado House Republicans select McKean as new minority leader

Rep. Patrick Neville steps down from party leadership role

By: - November 9, 2020 1:23 pm

Legislators, staff and an onlooker wait for the Colorado House of Representatives to meet in the body’s chamber on June 11, 2020. (Andy Bosselman for Newsline)

Rep. Hugh McKean
State Rep. Hugh McKean of Loveland was elected to the position of House minority leader on Nov. 9, 2020. (Colorado General Assembly)

State Rep. Hugh McKean, a Republican from Loveland who just won his third term in office, will succeed state Rep. Patrick Neville of Castle Rock as Colorado House minority leader.

Neville, a Republican who’s sued state officials over their handling of the coronavirus pandemic, recently announced that he would not again seek the position of House minority leader — which he had held since 2017 — after the November election.

“While it has been an honor to serve as the Colorado House Minority leader the last four years, by stepping aside I will be able to lead with the grassroots and champion Conservative values while representing my district with a stronger voice,” Neville wrote in an Oct. 9 Facebook post. “Eventually we are going to take Colorado back from radical socialists. My hope is that by announcing this now, individuals within the party can focus entirely on winning more Republican seats.”

Neville handily won his race in the 45th District and will begin his third term as a legislator next year. However, his decision to step down as minority leader left a vacancy that drew McKean along with Reps. Kevin Van Winkle of Highlands Ranch and Tim Geitner of Falcon to compete for the role during caucus leadership elections Nov. 9.

Rep. Tim Geitner
State Rep. Tim Geitner, R-Falcon, was elected to the position of House assistant minority leader on Nov. 9, 2020. (Colorado Assembly photo)

The three-way election led to a runoff between McKean and Van Winkle, in which McKean emerged victorious.

“We will leave this room united. We will stay united,” McKean said after the vote. “My door is always open to you, and I thank you for your confidence.”

Van Winkle, the former assistant minority leader, did not run for reelection to that position. Geitner was elected the new assistant minority leader after drawing more votes than Rep. Mark Baisley of Roxborough Park.

“We absolutely need some sort of a legislative plan that speaks to the people of Colorado, and says who we are as a Republican body and what we can do for the Republican brand itself,” Geitner said to fellow legislators before the vote.

On Nov. 5, Colorado Senate Republicans reelected Sen. Chris Holbert of Parker as Senate minority leader and Sen. John Cooke of Greeley as assistant minority leader.

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Faith Miller
Faith Miller

Reporter Faith Miller covers the Colorado Legislature, immigration and other stories for Colorado Newsline.