DENVER—State Sen. Greg Brophy jumped into the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination Sunday, and wasted no time in taking a jab at embattled Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
“I think the big difference between me and Gov. Hickenlooper is that you can trust me,” said Brophy in an interview with 9News.
Brophy also framed what may be the central debate of the governor’s race by blasting Hickenlooper’s decision to grant an indefinite reprieve to Death Row inmate Nathan Dunlap, who was convicted in 1996 of killing four employees at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Aurora.
Brophy called the decision “gutless” and “shameful,” and also criticized Democratic legislators for focusing on “fringe issues” instead of the economy in the 2013 legislative session.
A farmer who lives in rural Wray, Brophy drew national attention during the session for his fight against the gun-control package pushed by state Democrats. He was also an outspoken critic of what has been called “the war on rural Colorado,” including S.B. 252, which doubles the renewable-energy mandate on rural communities.
Elected to the state House in 2002, Brophy was appointed to fill a Senate vacancy in 2005. He was elected in 2006 and won reelection in 2010, which means he’s term-limited in 2014.
Brophy, 46, joins a Republican field that already includes former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, who placed second to Hickenlooper as a third-party candidate in the 2010 gubernatorial election. Secretary of State Scott Gessler is also expected to enter the race.
As a state legislator from an Eastern Plains district, Brophy probably lacks Tancredo and Gessler’s statewide name recognition, but he’s trying to remedy that with a seven-stop campaign tour that began Sunday in Parker.
He made his official announcement Sunday at the Wildlife Experience in Douglas County, a Republican stronghold.