State Representative Laura Bradford (R-Collbran) announced today that she is declining to seek re-election in House District 54. The news was first reported by Peoples Press Collective.

With Bradford out, former Capitol aide and Fruita policeman Jared Wright is now the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in HD54, according to our sources. Wright, who was Student Body President of what is now Colorado Mesa University, has a long political career for being only 29 years old.

As Peak guest poster ReaganGirl noted, Wright has worked for a long line of Mesa County Republicans, from former state Rep. Matt Smith (R-Grand Junction) to Congressman Scott McInnis, as well as a stint as Treasurer of the Mesa County GOP.

That long political resume will serve him well in the upcoming HD54 assembly, where he is slated to go up against Palisade vineyard owner Rusty Price

Our sources tell us that Price is likely to be kept off the ballot by Wright, which would guarantee Wright the Republican nomination if Price doesn't try to petition on the ballot.

The HD54 assembly is scheduled for Saturday in Clifton.

With HD54 such a Republican-leaning seat, whomever wraps up the GOP nomination is likely to become the next state legislator. 

With Bradford's exit from the race, we could end up having a de facto HD54 legislator more than 8 months before the election.