A former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party says he'll take on first-term Jason Crow for the east-metro Denver congressional seat next year.
Steve House came out swinging at the Democratic incumbent.
“Our Colorado communities deserve engaged members of Congress who spend more time in Centennial than on CNN, leaders who have their feet firmly planted here in Colorado and punch the clock in Washington only to work representing the needs and concerns of their Rocky Mountain neighbors,” House said in a statement.
“We don’t elect leaders from CD6 and send them to Congress to vote against our values in a game of political chicken between the president and Nancy Pelosi.”
House said he envisions “a Colorado where limited government works for us and not against us; where opportunity knocks no matter your sex, skin color, sexual orientation or where you were born; and a Colorado where every individual who dreams big and works hard can reach their American Dream.”
House broke the news Tuesday to Colorado Politics, but his name has been bandied about as a potential challenger in the district, which slipped from the GOP's grasp last year. Crow beat five-term incumbent Mike Coffman by 11 percentage points.
In an interview with Colorado Politics soon after his defeat, Coffman cited the weight of President Trump's policies and rhetoric in the racially and politically diverse district.
Now Coffman is running for Aurora mayor.
In 2016, the district supported Hillary Clinton over Trump by nearly 10 points.
Casper Stockham, who lost twice to incumbent Democrat Diana DeGette in neighboring District 1, also is challenging Crow.
In May, former state Rep. Phil Covarrubias, R-Brighton, said he, too, was considering taking on Crow next year.
In June, however, Covarrubias filed to run for the Adams County Commission next year instead.
House is a well-known name in Colorado political service, with mixed opinions even in GOP circles.
As a candidate for governor in 2014, House failed to qualify for the primary ballot. The nomination ultimately went to former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, who lost to John Hickenlooper that year.
House was state GOP chairman from 2015 to 2017. He declined to seek a second two-year term. He was succeeded by then-El Paso County GOP Chairman Jeff Hays.
In 2017, House called on donors to cut off support for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign, saying incumbent senators had failed to deliver on GOP promises.
“We asked them to defund Planned Parenthood. We asked them to defund Obamacare,” House wrote on Facebook at the time. "They did neither. It is time to defund the NRSC until they do what they promised."
House, a health care professional for three decades, is former chairman of the Adams County Republican Party and a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Committee, from which much of the state's delegation walked out rather than support Trump.
House did not participate in the walkout.
Before he was elected state GOP chairman in March, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck of Windsor said he intended to bring House back as CEO of the state operation.
That promise didn't materialize, however, as speculation grew that House would be a candidate this year instead.
The 6th Congressional District has been Colorado's most competitive for the past four elections, especially since the boundaries were redrawn and the district became more diverse before the 2012 race. It's consistently the district with the highest spending for congressional races in Colorado.
In 2016, however, as Trump was getting trounced in the district, Coffman beat future Democratic State Party Chairwoman Morgan Carroll by 8 percentage points.
Though overshadowed by the U.S. Senate and presidential race in 2020, the 6th Congressional District race could again prove to be a dogfight, if Republicans can mount a well-funded campaign against Crow.