LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — The state primary is less than two weeks away.

While much of the attention is being placed on races for congressional seats, there are some races at the state Capitol drawing interest too. Outside of the Democratic race for House District 6, another race between Republicans for House District 51 in Loveland is gaining traction as well.

Austin Hein is running to challenge House Minority Leader Hugh McKean for his seat at the Capitol. The two kind of know each other.

“I took a job for Representative Patrick Neville, who was the House Republican leader at the time,” Hein said, “and was his communications leader for the House Republican caucus.” That’s the caucus that McKean took over once Neville left that position.

“Austin worked with the minority leader in the past, but I asked some members as his name started to come up in this race: What do you remember about him? Just trying to remember a little bit more. And everybody said, ‘I don’t really remember working with him at all.’ So the deal is that that division occurred then and we had that division. Now, our staff works for everyone,” McKean said.

Who’s backing Hugh McKean, Austin Hein?

But some members who still worked at the Capitol this past year, like Neville and representatives running for Congress like Dave Williams and Ron Hanks, are backing Hein instead.

“Representative McKean has not been faithful to his conservative principles and has not been faithful to the values we hold dear as Republicans. He’s failed us on the Second Amendment, he’s failed us on spending and taxation and he’s failed to defend our police departments,” Hein said.

McKean has served as the House Minority Leader since 2021 and has the support of Assistant Minority Leader Tim Geitner, outgoing Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert and the new Senate Minority Leader John Cooke.

McKean said he is focused on bringing the party together to help make living in Colorado more affordable.

“Families right now are at that critical moment of, ‘Who do we want to have lead our state?’ And I think it’s us,” McKean said. “I think we have the right ideas. I think we go to them and say, ‘Look, get rid of all the other distractions. We have better ideas to help your families.'”