A Republican leader in Colorado’s House steps down from his position in the aftermath of an arrest for drunk driving.

On Wednesday, State Rep. Mike Lynch announced his resignation as minority leader. Lynch is a prominent Republican in the Colorado House of Representatives, and he has been in the spotlight recently because to his drunk driving arrest in 2022. Lynch emailed the other 18 Republicans in the caucus before making his announcement on the House floor. In general, he is not leaving the House. The Denver Post broke the news of his arrest one week prior to his decision.

He was up for a second vote of no confidence on Thursday after surviving the first one by a hair’s breadth on Monday; nonetheless, he stated in his address that the attempts to have him removed from office had no impact on his decision. Although I narrowly survived a vote of no confidence, I would like it made clear that this does not mean I will be resigning. He made his statement from the House floor,

stating that he would not stand down due to an unsuccessful state party chair attempting to influence House proceedings. At a meeting on Tuesday, Republican lawmakers lambasted Lynch; there was Dave Williams, a former lawmaker and current chair of the Colorado GOP. “The hard work is being hindered by the fact that I have become a distraction for my caucus, so I am stepping down because it is the right thing to do.”

Lynch, a three-term politician from Wellington, has been the minority leader since November 2022, when he succeeded Hugh McKean, who had been in that position until his death. U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert is one of several candidates in Lynch’s primary race for the 4th Congressional District. For days, the impact from Lynch’s 2022 arrest has been threatening to topple his position as the leading Republican in the House. Lynch is seen as a centrist in a party that has long been divided along ideological fault lines.

The Denver Post stated on January 17 that Lynch was arrested in September 2022 for firearms charges and drunk driving. While he was being arrested by the Colorado State Patrol trooper, he made a quick motion toward a concealed weapon in his pocket and pleaded with the officer to not make a big deal out of what happened. He entered a guilty plea afterwards and is still on probation until June. No one in the Capitol, not even his fellow Republicans, knew of his arrest. Not long after the incident, he was chosen as the leader of the minority party.

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