gopGeorge Athanasopoulos says he wants to make Colorado a proud red state again, and hopes to do so as leader of the GOP.

The former congressional candidate who challenged U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter in last month’s election isn’t waiting for current chairman Steve House to decide whether he will seek another term.

Athanasopoulos threw his hat into the ring during an interview Tuesday with Peter Boyles on KNUS.

“This was not an easy decision for me,” Athanasopoulos told Boyles. “But I had a lot of people talk to me about it and ask me to run.”

House’s term ends in March, and says he won’t make a decision on whether to run for reelection until January.

Athanasopoulo says he supported House in his challenge to unseat former Chairman Ryan Call last year, but was later critical of House on his Facebook page saying he had become a rubber stamp for the national party.