Wellington Republican Rep. Mike Lynch was elected as the Colorado House minority leader on Nov. 10, 2022, replacing the late Rep. Hugh McKean. (Sara Wilson/Colorado Newsline)
Colorado House Republicans selected Rep. Mike Lynch to serve as the chamber’s minority leader on Thursday, following the sudden death of the previous leader and an Election Day that saw the caucus shrink.
Lynch, who lives in Wellington, won by a 12-5 margin over Rep. Stephanie Luck of Penrose, who nominated herself for the position.
“I’m sad that today we’re not electing my friend Hugh McKean. Hugh had a vision for this caucus, and that caucus vision was for us to be cohesive and for us to move forward as one voice,” Lynch said as he accepted his nomination.
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McKean died of a heart attack on Oct. 30. He laid in state in the Capitol shortly after leadership elections on Thursday.
“Though I did not seek out this position, I harken back to my days at West Point, which remind me that when in charge, take charge. We need tough leadership here. As we move forward we need a steady hand,” Lynch said.
He said his vision for the caucus is to promote Republican principles and continue to work towards cohesion within the members, saying that “compromise is the name of the game.” There will be a smaller House Republican caucus in the next legislative session with 19 members in the 65-seat chamber.
“We’ve got some incredible new members. We’re going to bring their ideas forward and hopefully we’ll be able to work with Democrats to hopefully get some good ideas done in this state,” he said.
As for other House leadership positions, Rep.-elect Rose Pugliese of Colorado Springs will serve as assistant minority leader, Rep. Richard Holtorf of Akron will serve as caucus whip, Rep. Mary Bradfield of Colorado Springs will serve as caucus chair and Rep. Rod Bockenfeld of Watkins will serve on the Joint Budget Committee.
Senate Republicans also selected leadership on Thursday. Sen. Paul Lundeen of Monument will serve as Senate Minority Leader.
“I am grateful for the confidence my colleagues have vested in me to lead this caucus,” Lundeen said in a statement. “There is ample work that must be done. Colorado remains unaffordable, our schools continue to fail, and crime is continuing to climb. I am eager to introduce our solutions that will address these problems and bring some relief to the People of Colorado.”
Sen. Bob Gardner of Colorado Springs will serve as assistant minority leader, Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer of Brighton will serve as minority whip, Sen. Jim Smallwood of Parker will serve as caucus chair, and Sen. Bob Rankin of Carbondale will return to the Joint Budget Committee.
The legislative session convenes on Jan. 9.
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