Update: 6:22 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, 2020.
Democratic Representative Matt Gray withdrew his candidacy for reelection on Tuesday, a day after police released a report on Gray's DUI arrest.
In a statement, the Colorado Democratic Party said they were "thankful for Representative Gray's service to his constituents in House District 33 and the people of Colorado.
"We wish him and his family all the best."
The democrats will hold a vacancy committee hearing on May 1 to select a replacement.
School employees called police last Thursday because Democratic Rep. Matt Gray smelled of alcohol and was stumbling and mumbling when he arrived to pick up his children from Coyote Ridge Elementary School, according to a Broomfield Police Department arrest report.
That evening, the state representative was booked into the Broomfield Detention Center and charged with a DUI for suspected driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was later released.
During the arrest, Gray told officers he is a state lawmaker and knows the local district attorney, but also said they should not treat him differently.
While speaking to police, Gray denied consuming any alcohol before driving to the school, and said that he had been having a panic attack. Responding officers and multiple witnesses said that Gray smelled of alcohol, and a police officer said that Gray’s eyes were “bloodshot red and glossy.”
Wrote one school employee: “I observed him stumbling and asked to speak privately with him. He got emotional and said I didn’t understand what situation I was putting him in. I smelt liquor on him and his words were mumbling.”
The employee asked the representative’s children, who are ages 6 and 8, to go back inside the school. Staff then called police and the children’s mother.
Gray refused to do voluntary roadside tests or to take a portable breath test for alcohol, the report stated. He told an officer to look at his “excellent parking job,” according to police.
Gray became “very upset” after learning that someone had contacted a family member about the incident, the report continued.
After being taken into custody, Gray told officers: “Just know [local district attorney] Brian Mason is my friend,” according to officers. He had also told them earlier that he was a state lawmaker. However, Gray also told officers “not to treat him differently than we would a normal person,” the report continued.
In a statement, the DA’s office said that Mason would recuse himself from any case related to the arrest. The 1st Judicial District, led by DA Alexis King, would take over responsibilities, Mason’s office said.
“Representative Matt Gray previously served as a Deputy District Attorney in the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Due to this conflict, District Attorney Brian Mason has recused his office from handling any case that could result from Rep. Gray’s arrest,” wrote a spokesman for Mason in an email.
During the incident, Gray called Sen. Faith Winter, telling her that he was having a panic attack and needed help. Winter told police that it “had been a long, exhausting day” and that Gray had been “struggling with panic attacks over the past few months.” She did not know if the panic attacks led Gray to drink, she told police.
Gray and Winter are friends and have worked together on bills, including an effort to create a paid-family leave program. Winter is working with Gray to “make sure he gets the mental health support he needs,” she wrote in a text message to CPR News.
The police report did not include the results of an alcohol test that is administered at jails in DUI cases. Gray did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Gray was marked as an excused absence from the state House for part of Monday, but later connected remotely to the chamber’s proceedings and participated in votes. He is the incumbent Democratic nominee for House District 33. If he wins, it would be his last term in the House under Colorado's term limit requirements.
Editor's note: Due to an editor error, an earlier version incorrectly stated that Gray is term-limited this year.
You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up. The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!