Colorado’s Republican House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, who is also running for Colorado’s 4th congressional district, narrowly survived a vote of no confidence on Monday. The caucus tied 9-9, with one member absent. It means he will keep his job as the chamber’s GOP leader, for now, but could face another challenge.
Last week it came to light that Lynch was charged in 2022 for speeding, driving under the influence, and being in possession of a firearm while intoxicated and is still on probation. He was also ordered to do 120 hours of community service and barred from carrying a weapon until June of this year. Lynch’s House Republican colleagues said they were unaware of the charges until the Denver Post published a story about it last week. The traffic stop occurred just weeks before they chose him to serve as Minority Leader.
Republicans who called for Lynch to step down from his leadership role said they were hoping to avoid having to vote in a formal caucus meeting. In their caucus meeting Monday, House Republicans cast their votes anonymously, after a motion to take a public vote failed. Complicating matters, Republican Rep. Stephanie Luck, who gave birth last week, missed the first part of the caucus meeting, when votes were being taken. Other House Republicans argued that the vote should be final, and it’s time for the caucus to move on, or that a revote should occur on a different day when all 19 caucus members are present, either in person or virtually.
Republican Rep. Richard Holtorf of Akron, who is one of the candidates in the GOP primary race in CD4 along with Lynch, said it wouldn’t be proper to redo the vote Monday. For his part, Lynch has apologized for the DUI and said if he thought his legal situation was harming the caucus he would step down. “I do not believe that it has impacted my ability to be a good minority leader. I think we've done great things in this caucus.” Lynch said he made a bad decision, learned a lot from the incident, and has stopped drinking alcohol.