GOP loses ground in State House, holds numbers in State Senate;
Gun owners gain numbers but enemy elected as House Speaker
Thursday, November 5, 1998 -- The 1998 General Elections were a mixed bag for gun rights supporters when conservatives won many races but liberal anti-gun Speaker was elected to the top position in the Colorado House of Representatives.
Tuesday elections improves pro-gun numbers in the Senate, House
Though Republican lost a total of 1 seat in the Colorado House (from 41-24 to 40-25) and Senate Republicans remained at 20-15, pro-gun forces made substantial gains.
Staunch gun rights supporter Mark Hillman was elected to the Colorado Senate from SD 2 (eastern and southeastern Colorado) to replace term-limited Democrat Jim Rizzuto. Moving from the House to the Senate was gun rights heroine Marilyn Musgrave from SD 1 (Northeastern Colorado) and retired Airborne Col. Dave Owen from SD16 (Greeley). Other Vermont-style concealed carry supporters elected were Ron Teck, who replaced termed Tillie Bishop from SD 7 (Western Slope) and John Evans from SD30 (Douglas County and surrounding area).
Though Republicans did not gain any seats, the election of these conservatives marks a sharp move to the right. They will join Senators Jim Congrove (who ran unsuccessfully for Lt. Governor in the middle of his term) and Doug Lamborn to wait for the appointment of a replacement for State Senator and Treasurer-elect Mike Coffman. Rumor has touted staunch conservative John Andrews as a possible replacement, adding further to pro-gun numbers.
In the House, 100% gun rights supporters elected this year include longtime gun activist Scott McKay (Lakewood), RMGO member Lauri Clapp (Englewood), Shawn Mitchell (Northglenn), Joe Nunez (Highlands Ranch), Rob Fairbank (Lakewood), Don Lee (Littleton), Lynn Hefley (Colo. Springs) and Joe Stengel (Littleton). They join gun rights hero Mark Paschall (Arvada), libertarian Penn Pfiffner (Lakewood) and Doug Dean (Colo. Springs) in House pro-gun caucus.
New House Speaker a Wham Ally
Though House Republicans elected Vermont Law supporter Rep. Doug Dean as Majority Leader, they gave the top position to anti-gun liberal Russell George, considered one of Colorado's most liberal Republican elected officials.