State House Majority Leader Amy Stephens might have a new challenger. Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Gar Graham today announced his intention to oppose her in the Republican primary with a press release, stating that his reasoning is due in part to the party's need for new leadership.
In recent weeks and months, Rep. Stephens has come under fire from fellow Republicans who decry her bill establishing Obamacare implementation in Colorado, the numerous bills she has co-sponsored with Democrats, and leadership's unwillingness to fight for conservative values and meaningful reforms.
The most intriguing part of this announcement is his acknowledgment that, in the current reapportionment process, the state commission has proposed maps to the state Supreme Court that would shift Stephens out of HD 20, placing her instead in Rep. Marsha Looper's House District 19.
While the issue of redrawn district lines is delayed in the courts, Graham is still confident Stephens will be his State Rep. unless citizens help replace her. Every map considered by the Reapportionment Commission and the courts places the two candidates in the same State House district.
Essentially, Graham is announcing that not only will he primary Stephens, but he'll take on Looper, too, who he apparently doesn't see as much of a threat.
Reporter Lynn Bartels has an interesting take on this at the Denver Post, examining the claim that Democrats, in their success at pushing through the proposed reapportionment maps, have unfairly targeted women Republicans.