4th Congressional District: Republican Mike Lynch

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Mike Lynch at a debate Jan. 25, 2024 among candidates running in the 4th Congressional District primary race. The event was hosted by the Republican Women of Weld and the Lincoln Club of Colorado at the Fort Lupton Recreation Center.

Mike Lynch is a state representative from Wellington and the owner of a family business, the Western Heritage Company, that makes custom belt buckles and employs 10 people. He’s also a U.S. Army veteran, having served as an infantry officer from 1993 to 2001.

He was first elected to the statehouse in 2021 and served as House Minority Leader for the 2022 session. But Lynch stepped down from his leadership role at the start of the most recent session after news came out that he was on probation for an undisclosed DUI

Lynch serves on two committees in the House: Agriculture, Water & Natural Resources and Business Affairs & Labor. In addition to those areas, he’s introduced numerous bills on judicial issues.

Lynch has positioned himself as a small-government conservative. His campaign lists fentanyl as a top issue, noting that Lynch contributed to laws related to cracking down on the deadly opioid and now “must go to [Congress to] finally secure our border and finish the job.” He has called for renewed government investment in causes like clean energy and airports, but also has said that the government must slash overall spending and reduce its size.

Lynch lives in Wellington and has served in the statehouse since 2021. He is married and has two adult children. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Colorado.

Lynch spoke to CPR News about his positions on some of the issues that are most important to voters in the district.

On democracy and good governance

Lynch thinks that the “vitriol and showmanship that is associated with politics right now” is damaging people’s perceptions of government, calling it a “degradation of democracy.”

“And they’re completely correct,” Lynch added. He blamed gridlock and other problems on the rise of career politicians who don’t have real-world experience

“You break through that by being an expert on something,” he said. “I’m an expert on military issues and small business issues. I literally have signed my own paycheck for the last 20 years.”

Respondents to the Voter Voices project also were concerned about elections. For some, that meant buying into unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 election being stolen. Others feared that former President Donald Trump would again try to use such theories as justification to subvert democracy.

Lynch accepts the 2020 election results. “The one vote that I know won’t count is the one that’s not cast,” he said.

He blamed the “liberal left” for creating a false narrative about election fraud that has discouraged Republican voters and put the party in a state House super-minority. But when pressed, he acknowledged that Trump and other Republicans have pushed lies about stolen elections.

“We have been deceived by our own party,” he said. “My side uses it to create a stir. However, the other side loves that narrative.”

His role would be to make sure people vote, Lynch said. At a recent debate he said he does not support the state GOP’s efforts to close party primaries to unaffiliated voters.

On the economy and cost of living

Lynch says that as a Congressman, he could best address economic issues by bringing federal money back to the district in the form of grants and earmarks.

“I don’t believe we’ve had somebody in the 4th CD who’s fighting for that, because they’re trying to be so fiscally conservative,” he said, referring to the district’s recently retired congressman, Ken Buck, who continually voted against spending bills and opposed earmarks. Lynch also knocked Rep. Lauren Boebert for celebrating project grants from the bipartisan infrastructure law after voting against it.

Lynch said that it’s a matter of “getting back” tax dollars for the good of the district.

“It’s all fun and games until you don’t bring any money back to your own dang district,” he said. “Earmarks are great.”

He also called for cuts to government spending elsewhere, naming the IRS as a target and said he would support continuing the Trump-era tax cuts.

On immigration

Lynch called for greater border security, but also for changes that could help businesses employ unauthorized new immigrants at lower wages.

“As a small business owner, I could hire up to five of these people if I didn’t have the constraints of having to pay them a minimum wage or provide them with benefits,” he said.

He suggested such a program could allow trials of six months of employment. “There’s really two options here. We either do a mass deportation or we figure out a way to change our existing laws to figure out how we can gain from their ability to contribute to our economy.”

As for the border itself: “We need to close it. We need to stop this. We need to close that damn border. We need to fix this problem by cutting it off.”