Who’s running for Colorado House in 2022? Here’s what we know so far.

Cutter, Tipper drawn into the same district

By: - November 12, 2021 5:01 am
Colorado Capitol

The Colorado flag hangs in the state Capitol building on June 12, 2020. (Andy Bosselman for Newsline)

Read the companion piece to this article:

Who’s running for Colorado Senate in 2022?

In the 2020 election, Republicans managed to hold the fort in the Colorado House of Representatives — that is, the party didn’t lose any ground to Democrats, but maintained its hold on 24 House seats, while Democrats kept 41.

Following the once-a-decade redistricting process, Republicans will be looking to flip some of those House districts and capitalize on voters’ midterm habit of giving more power to the minority party. Still, based on voting trends in prior elections, it appears unlikely that the GOP could regain control of the state House.

Democrats, meanwhile, will want to defend their House seats and increase their majority. They gained a seat last year in Littleton but lost another in Pueblo. Under the new legislative maps, other districts could become more competitive.

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Colorado’s nonpartisan legislative redistricting commission approved new state House and Senate district maps last month. In making decisions, the commission wasn’t allowed to consider how the new maps would affect incumbents.

The Colorado Supreme Court will make the final determination on whether to certify the new maps by Nov. 15. Once the new maps are approved, some lawmakers who had hoped to run for another term will have to figure out how to react to being drawn into a more competitive district, or drawn into the same district as a political colleague.

Newsline examined public records filed with the secretary of state’s office to provide a picture of how the House races are shaping up, just under a year ahead of the 2022 election — when all Colorado House seats will be up for grabs. Below are some notable highlights.

Redistricting dilemmas

Third-term Democratic Reps. Lisa Cutter of Littleton and Kerry Tipper of Lakewood face difficult decisions. Both were drawn into House District 28, and would therefore have to run against one another in a 2022 race for that seat. Neither Cutter nor Tipper returned a request for comment by this article’s publication time.

Rep. Dan Woog, a first-term Republican from Erie, finds himself in District 19 under the new map. The redrawn district is highly competitive.

Eckley Mayor Jessie Vance, a Republican, filed to run in District 63. But Rep. Richard Holtorf, a second-term Republican from Akron, lives in District 63 under the new map. That could mean Vance faces Holtorf in a primary election, if both Republicans end up running.

House Speaker Alec Garnett
House Speaker Alec Garnett delivers a speech on the first day back at the Colorado Capitol on Feb. 16, 2021. (Faith Miller/Colorado Newsline)

Republican Mary Lynn “Dede” Wagner of Indian Hills filed to run for District 25. But second-term Republican Rep. Colin Larson of Littleton, who was originally elected to represent House District 26, lives in the redrawn District 25 and plans to run for reelection there, he told Newsline. The district is highly competitive.

The new District 25 includes about “55 to 60%” of Larson’s current district, as well as the area where Larson grew up, he said.

Democratic Rep. Tom Sullivan of Centennial now lives in District 61, a highly competitive district under the new map. Sullivan announced Nov. 18 that he would run for Senate instead of for reelection to the House.

Republican Reps. Rod Pelton and Rod Bockenfeld both live in District 56 under the new map. If both ran for reelection, that would mean a primary showdown between the two candidates. But Pelton told The Colorado Sun he planned to run for state Senate instead.

Nina Anderson, a Republican from Grand Junction, had originally filed to run in District 55, but she lives in District 54 under the new map. She told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel she’d run in District 54 instead.

However, Republican Rep. Matt Soper of Delta is running for a second term in District 54, which means Anderson would probably have to face Soper in a primary election.

New House hopefuls

Eviction defense lawyer Javier Mabrey filed paperwork to run for Denver’s House District 1 in April. The district’s current representative, Democrat Susan Lontine, is in her fourth term and therefore isn’t eligible to run again. Republican Guillermo Diaz also filed to run in District 1.

Katie March, a Democrat who’s worked in various roles in Speaker Alec Garnett’s office, launched her campaign for the redrawn House District 6 on Nov. 4.

“Coloradans need someone who understands not only what to work toward, but how we can accomplish concrete results,” March said in a statement. “I’ve learned how to be effective at fighting for our values while working at the Capitol and helping to pass some truly amazing and impactful bills.”

Colorado Springs’ House District 17 is currently represented by Democrat Tony Exum, but he’s running for Senate next year. The two candidates hoping to replace him are Democrat Regina English, vice president of the Harrison School District Two Board of Education; and Republican Rachel Stovall, a columnist and radio show host.

Meanwhile, Democrat Alvin Sexton has filed to run in Colorado Springs’ District 15. The district is currently represented by Republican Dave Williams, who hasn’t announced whether he will run for reelection in 2022. The district favors the GOP by more than 25 percentage points, according to an analysis of prior election results by nonpartisan redistricting committee staff.

Meghan Lukens, a social studies teacher from Steamboat Springs, filed to run in District 26. The district’s current representative, Democrat Dylan Roberts, is running for state Senate in 2022.

Ken Stable of Englewood has filed paperwork to run as a Democrat in the redrawn House District 37. He spent almost 10 years working in technology and finance at the Denver Tech Center and is currently finishing a law school degree from the University of Denver, according to a Nov. 12 statement announcing the formal launch of his campaign.

“Ken is excited to begin this journey and looks forward to running an inclusive campaign which stretches across parties,” the statement said.

Anthony Hartsook, an Army combat veteran who worked for former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, had filed to run in District 39. But the new map puts the Parker Republican in District 44.

Cory Parella filed to run as a Republican in Aurora’s District 42. The district is currently represented by Democratic Rep. Dominique Jackson, who would be eligible to run for a third term but hasn’t formally announced her plans.

Kurt Huffman, a Republican from Highlands Ranch, is running for District 43. Republican Rep. Kevin Van Winkle of Littleton currently represents the district, but he is running for state Senate in 2022.

Republicans Bill Jack and Gregory Smith, both of Castle Rock, have filed to run in House District 45. Rep. Patrick Neville currently represents the district, but he’s term-limited and can’t run again.

Democrat R. Kenneth O’Neal of Pueblo is the only candidate so far officially running for House District 46 in 2022. House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar, who currently represents the district, is term-limited after this year.

Cindy Ficklin, a Republican from Grand Junction, is running for House District 55. The district is currently represented by Rep. Janice Rich, a Grand Junction Republican who’s filed to run for state Senate in 2022.

Robert Dimick, a Democrat and U.S. Army veteran from Jaroso, has filed to run in House District 62. Democratic Rep. Donald Valdez of La Jara, who currently represents the district, is in his third term and running for Congress in 2022.

Aiming for reelection

So far, state Rep. Steven Woodrow, a Denver Democrat, is running unopposed for reelection to the redrawn District 2. Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, a Denver Democrat, is running for a third term representing District 4, and Democratic Rep. Alex Valdez is running for reelection to a third term representing Denver’s District 5.

Democratic Rep. Emily Sirota is running for reelection to House District 9. If Sirota wins the race, it would be her third term representing that Denver district.

Reps. Karen McCormick, a Longmont Democrat, and Tracey Bernett, a Boulder County Democrat, hope to win second terms in the House representing District 11 and District 12, respectively. McCormick and Bernett are both currently running unopposed.

Republican Rep. Mary Bradfield of Colorado Springs is running for a second term in District 21. So far, she’s running unopposed.

Rep. Perry Will, a Republican from New Castle, is running — so far unopposed — for reelection to a third term in District 57.

Democratic Reps. Brianna Titone of Arvada and Cathy Kipp of Fort Collins are running for third terms representing Districts 27 and 52, respectively. Both incumbents are currently running unopposed.

Democratic Rep. David Ortiz of Littleton, who’s in his first term, filed to run for reelection in District 38. So far, he’s unopposed, too.

Rep. Andrew Boesenecker, a Democrat from Fort Collins who was appointed in 2021 to represent District 53, is running for reelection.

First-term Democratic Rep. Judy Amabile of Boulder will live in District 49 after the boundary lines for her former House district shifted slightly. Amabile recently announced that she plans to run for reelection in the new district, which heavily favors Democrats.

“I want to continue our important work to improve access to mental health resources in our state, protect our environment, and ensure our economic policies enable progress for ALL,” she said in an October statement.

Rep. Chris Kennedy, a Democrat from Lakewood, plans to run for reelection in the redrawn District 30, he said. Kennedy’s new district will include more middle- and low-income people and a larger Latino population, he added, saying he planned to do his “due diligence” to understand his new constituents’ needs. No one else has filed to run in District 30 so far.

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 10:30 a.m., Nov. 19, 2021, to include new information.

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Faith Miller
Faith Miller

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

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