After days of uncertainty around the process for replacing former-Democratic State Representative Steve Lebsock, it was announced that the House District 34 Republican vacancy committee will convene in the coming weeks to appoint a Republican replacement. The disgraced former lawmaker, who last week became the first Colorado lawmaker expelled from the House of Representatives in more than 100 years, changed his party registration in the final minutes before his expulsion vote from Democrat to Republican in a big middle finger to Democrats who sought to use him as an example.
Colorado Republican Committee Chairman Jeff Hays put any speculation to rest when he issued a statement saying that the party would do what is prescribed by law, and appoint a replacement. The other option would have been to do nothing, and in that case Governor Hickenlooper would name a new member from House District 34 in Thornton. Hays said that Republicans will provide “the experience of ethical representation” where the Democrats failed to provide that type of leadership. His statement:
“After careful consideration, we concluded it would be dereliction of duty to punt the appointment to … Hickenlooper. We owe it to the people of House District 34 to give them the experience of ethical representation, which the Democrats, when they controlled the seat, signally failed to provide.
“Without the cover-up, it’s highly unlikely the Democratic nominee, Lebsock, would have won re-election in November 2016. If voters had known what Democratic leadership knew, they would have roundly rejected Lebsock. We won’t reward the Democrats’ bad behavior by allowing them to choose the replacement for a representative who won his seat in November 2016 only thanks to their cover-up.”
he Democrats knew of Lebsock’s misdeeds in early 2016, but did not do anything to bring those actions to light, which they say was the victim’s wishes, but also promoted him to chairman of a committee knowing full well about his harassment scandal. Without that Democrat coverup, orchestrated by Speaker Crisanta Duran (who was majority leader in 2016 when she learned of the allegations against Lebsock), Lebsock would have been exposed to voters as the person that he is, and his ability to win election would have been severely compromised.
We are keeping an ear to the ground with regards to possible replacements. But for now it’s safe to say that Hays is calling the (correct) shots, and the final step in putting this ugly episode behind the citizens of Colorado is close at hand.