Rep. Rose Pugliese chosen to lead Colorado House Republicans

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Republican House Assistant Minority Leader Rose Pugliese on the opening day of the legislature, Jan. 10, 2024.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Colorado House Republicans have selected first-term Republican Rep. Rose Pugliese of Colorado Springs to be the next Minority Leader, after the resignation of Rep. Mike Lynch earlier this week. 

Lynch stepped down a week after a previously undisclosed DUI arrest became public. His colleagues criticized him for both his behavior during the traffic stop and the fact that he did not make them aware of it.

It took two rounds of voting Thursday morning for Pugliese to secure the necessary votes to win the election. She defeated Reps. Ken DeGraaf of Colorado Springs and Matt Soper of Delta.

Pugliese is a former Mesa county commissioner who now lives in El Paso County. She previously served as the Assistant House Minority Leader.

“I’ve been here to push forward the values we all believe in and pick the right fights,” Pugliese told her colleagues. She said she hopes to expand the caucus and win back seats. Republicans currently hold only 19 of the chamber’s 65 seats, a historically small minority.

“I love this caucus and I want to see it grow,” she said. “I am running for reelection. I will be here next year, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done and will continue to do together.” 

She added, “this is a hard job and I want to thank Rep. Lynch for the job he did and the sacrifices he made.”