Colorado Rep. Matt Gray, suspected of DUI, won’t run for reelection
Democratic vacancy committee in Broomfield to select new candidate
Rep. Matt Gray, D-Broomfield, is pictured Dec. 1, 2020. (Faith Miller/Colorado Newsline)
A Democratic state representative who was recently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence won’t seek reelection to a fourth term, the Broomfield County Democratic Party confirmed Tuesday evening. Colorado Democrats plan to replace him on the ballot through a vacancy committee.
“As there was no primary challenger the (House District 33) Vacancy Committee will fill the empty slot,” the county party announced in a Facebook post. “This committee is comprised of registered Democrats who were elected during the caucus and assembly process that reside in HD33: which includes all of Broomfield and parts of Adams County.”
The vacancy committee will vote May 1 on Rep. Matt Gray’s replacement for the 2022 election. Gray has not indicated plans to resign before the end of the legislative session, of which there are two weeks left.
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Republican Stacie Dougherty has also filed to run for House District 33.
“The Broomfield County Democrats greatly appreciate the years of service Representative Gray has given to our community and to Colorado legislation,” the statement added. “We wish him well as he focuses on his and his family’s wellbeing.”
On April 21, Gray, of Broomfield, drove to Coyote Ridge Elementary to pick up his two young children from an after-school program. When he arrived, school staff members thought Gray smelled of alcohol and appeared to be intoxicated, so they called authorities, according to the Broomfield Police Department.
According to the police report and body camera video, Gray refused to perform roadside maneuvers and would not provide a breath sample or a blood test. His license will therefore be revoked for one year — with the option for early reinstatement after two months with an interlock device — unless he can convince a judge to reinstate his driving privileges.
Colorado law assigns lesser consequences to people who agree to a test than to those who refuse. On a first DUI conviction, a person with blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or higher would have their license revoked for nine months and have the option for early reinstatement with an interlock device after just one month.
Gray does not have other DUI convictions but repeatedly told police he understood the DUI process, having prosecuted many cases in his former job as a deputy district attorney. He also said he was a “state f—ing representative” when pressed to provide his name, according to body camera footage. Gray denied being intoxicated and said he was experiencing a panic attack driven by anxiety and depression. Still, he denied a test, saying he’d rather “keep a shred of dignity.”
Gray told police he drove to the elementary school directly from the Capitol, according to body camera footage. He also said he called state Sen. Faith Winter, a Westminster Democrat, to pick up him and his kids after the school refused to let him drive the children home.
Gray was arrested and booked into the Broomfield Detention Center and later released, police said. He did not return a request for comment from Newsline.
Majority Leader Daneya Esgar of Pueblo, a Democrat, told Newsline that she hadn’t directly spoken with Gray since his arrest. Gray was excused from the Legislature on Friday and participated remotely on Monday and Tuesday.
“I just reached out to him and told him how much I support him and hope he’s doing well,” Esgar said.
“I know he’s with family and he’s trying to kind of figure out — I’m trying to give Matt a little time to figure out what he’s going to do,” House Speaker Alec Garnett, a Democrat, said, adding that he hadn’t personally weighed in on whether Gray should resign or run for reelection.
In an earlier statement, Garnett said he was “deeply saddened and disappointed” to learn of Gray’s arrest and that it was “my belief that he has been struggling with alcoholism for some time now.”
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