Another Republican plans to challenge Rep. Laura Bradford

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DENVER — Well, that didn’t take long.

Roughly a month after scandal erupted around state Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran, after she was pulled over for a DUI but not charged by police, another Republican has decided to challenger her for her seat.

Charles Ashby of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Thursday that John “Rusty” Price, a vineyard owner from Palisade, filed papers to run as a Republican for Bradford’s House District 58 seat.

The Denver Police Department is still investigating why a sergeant let Bradford go after she repeatedly told the officer who stopped her that she didn’t want special treatment under an antiquated Colorado statute that prevents police from arresting state lawmakers while the legislature is in session.

Bradford, who temporarily was stripped of her position as chairman of a House committee, has been exonerated of any wrongdoing by an ethics committee convened by Speaker Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch.

But her political career has been irrevocably damaged and she has yet to announce whether she will seek another term in the legislature.

After McNulty convened the ethics committe, Bradford pushed back and threatened to switch parties, possibly imperiling the GOP’s one-seat House majority and McNulty’s speakership.

She later lied to a Grand Junction TV station that she never intended to switch parties, even though she was on record telling the Denver Post she was considering it.

The officer who stopped her filed a report stating that he estimated Bradford’s blood-alcohol content was around .20 when she was stopped, well above the .08 benchmark for DUI.

Should Bradford decide to run for reelection, a primary would take place in June.

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