Greenwood Village Republican Steve Monahan on Monday declared his candidacy for the House District 3 seat held by state Rep. Meg Froelich, an Englewood Democrat.
The Navy veteran, a first-time candidate, told Colorado Politics that he's running because he wants to bring a dose of fiscal conservatism to the legislature.
"I’d like to think that there’s a groundswell of support for conservative ideals, especially fiscal," Monahan said. "I’d like to see a good balance ... of conservative and liberal ideas, to come back to the best solutions of what’s best for the state, not just what’s expedient for one party."
The district covers parts of Englewood, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village and Sheridan in Arapahoe County. It hasn't been represented by a Republican in at least 50 years, though in recent cycles it has been among the most hotly contested legislative seats.
Froelich was appointed to the seat a year ago after then-state Rep. Jeff Bridges resigned to fill the Senate District 26 seat made vacant by former state Sen. Daniel Kagan's resignation a month earlier.
Monahan, 38, stressed that he's new to politics — he enlisted in the Navy shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and served until last year — and is still "learning, researching, fleshing out where I fall on the spectrum of ideology," but said he is "alarmed by the over-reach" of the Democratic-controlled General Assembly.
"It seems they want to put as much legislation down as fast as they can when they have a majority," he said. "We all want prosperity and safety and security. They’re looking to government to make everything happen. I don’t subscribe to that. We need a lot more citizens solving their problems."
Monahan is the only Republican seeking the nomination in House District 3.
In the last election, Bridges won a second term by a 23-point margin over Republican nominee Toren Mushovic.
Monahan said he isn't daunted by the district's traditional lean toward the other party.
“Like many of my neighbors, I am concerned by the expansion of the state bureaucracy and unfunded mandates," Monahan said. "Reckless policy decisions have put future Colorado taxpayers on the hook for new expensive obligations with higher taxes, new enterprise schemes and debt."
He said he wants to serve in the legislature "so I can tackle tough challenges like infrastructure, education affordability and choice and the catastrophic government takeover of our healthcare system.”
Added Monahan: "I’m truly here to serve. I’m not a lawyer, I'm not an economist, I'm not a politician. I’m here to serve the constituents."
A member of the Naval Reserve, Monahan works as a pilot for a private carrier. He and his wife have lived in Greenwood Village for six months. They have three young children.