Priola bows to pressure, resigns House GOP leadership post

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Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, at last week's House GOP caucus meeting where colleagues attempted to replace him as whip.

DENVER — Rep. Kevin Priola has decided to resign his position as whip of the House Republican caucus.

Even after the failure of an attempt to replace him last Thursday, a majority of his colleagues still had their knives out for Priola, who they’ve come to mistrust over time, according to several House Republicans.

The “straw that broke the camel’s back” was Priola’s decision last week to support a Democratic amendment to the Student Success Act over a competing Republican amendment, combined with his decision not to inform his GOP colleagues of his decision.

But Priola, R-Henderson, is also among the more moderate members of a caucus that has moved further to the right.

“This is about personalities,” said Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, at Thursday’s meeting.

Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Littleton, was nominated last Thursday to replace Priola (that motion failed because the caucus chair ruled that Priola had to resign before a motion could be heard on a replacement).

Lawrence will likely be nominated again when the House GOP caucus meets to vote on a new whip, likely Tuesday morning.

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