Pete Lee gets a challenger



Here's the latest novel idea to hit politics: If at first you don't succeed, try for a higher office.

Republican Karen Cullen will announce Saturday that she is running for Colorado House District 18 in the November election. That's the seat being vacated by the term-limited Democrat Rep. Michael Merrifield.

Cullen, a Manitou bed and breakfast owner, ran for Manitou City Council this past November, but was trounced by local trail-running celebrity Matthew Carpenter by a nearly 70-30 percent margin.

And she's got other problems.

Democrat Pete Lee put his hat in the race months ago. Lee ran for the state Senate in 2008, but lost to Republican Keith King by a 56-44 percent margin. That was a pretty good show for Lee, a serious underdog in that race making his political debut. Now, with Merrifield's backing, it appears that Lee is in a good position for this next election battle.

Which is more than can be said for the Republicans, who after years of fuming that the Democrats snatched HD18, haven't exactly come out fighting now. In addition to Cullen, rumor has it that term-limited City Councilor Tom Gallagher may throw his hat in the race. Gallagher said yesterday he'd make a decision within the next six weeks.

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