DENVER — Rep. Mike Lynch will step down as the Colorado House of Representatives minority leader by the end of Wednesday, the lawmaker announced in a news release.
As I step aside from the role of Minority Leader, I do so with optimism and a deep sense of gratitude for the trust and support you have shown me throughout my tenure... I have full confidence in the abilities and commitment of our caucus members to carry on the important work we have started. I look forward to working with the new leadership, to collaborate and forge a path forward that will lead to a better, safer, and stronger Colorado. Together, we will continue to fight for the principles and values that define us as Republicans and fulfill our duty to the people we serve."
The Republican caucus in the Colorado House of Representatives are expected to meet Thursday, our partners at the Denver Post reported, to elect his replacement from among the other 18 House Republicans.
In a statement on the social media site X Wednesday, the Colorado Republican party said:
It’s about time. The House Republicans should elect anyone who has NOT been convicted of driving while drunk and broke faith with voters and colleagues by covering it up. Thank you to the House Republican Caucus Members who showed courage and demonstrated he lost the confidence of the majority of his GOP colleagues.
This comes after recent revelations that Lynch was arrested in 2022 on suspicion of drunk driving and possessing a firearm while intoxicated, according to previously unreported law enforcement records.
He was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol and later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving while ability impaired. Lynch was sentenced to 18 months of probation, which is still active, with monitored sobriety.
He received a deferred sentence for the weapons charge but was barred from possessing firearms and ordered to complete a handgun safety course.
Lynch shared his decision with colleagues in a speech on the House floor.
“I come before you today at this moment of personal privilege to let you know that I will be stepping down as the Minority Leader as of close of business today,” Lynch said.
Lynch, who's also running for Congress in Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District, kept his arrest from the public for a year and a half.
Even members of his own caucus said they didn’t know about it.
"It's not like I have some kind of inside track to this information. Apparently, nobody did,” said State Rep. Scott Bottoms, R-El Paso County.
Bottoms called on Lynch to resign and pushed for a no-confidence vote against him.
Lynch was elected to lead the House Republican caucus several weeks after the arrest, with few — if any — colleagues knowing about it, our partners at the Denver Post reported.
The Colorado House’s top Republican narrowly survived a vote of no-confidence by his fellow Republican legislators Monday morning.
The vote was an even 9-9 split to keep Lynch as minority leader, the bare minimum he needed to keep his position in leadership.
On the floor, he took a shot at Dave Williams, the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, who attended a caucus meeting in which Republican lawmakers were discussing Lynch’s future.
“I'm not stepping down because a failed state party chair decided to try to influence the actions in this house,” said Lynch. “I am stepping down because it's the right thing to do because I’ve become a distraction for my caucus.”
Williams didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Congressional candidate in Colorado GOP arrested for driving drunk, carrying gun
Lynch declared his candidacy earlier this month for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a fellow Republican, in the 4th Congressional District. The primary is crowded, with at least 10 Republicans running — including U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert after she decided to switch districts to run in the more conservative CD4.