DENVER — State Rep. Cheri Gerou made it official Wednesday: she won’t be running for the state senate and is instead planning on leaving the legislature next year.
Gerou, R-Evergreen, is a long-time member of the powerful Joint Budget Committee and one of her party’s more moderate voices at the Capitol.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve western Jefferson County and the state of Colorado for six years as your state representative,” Gerou wrote in a column announcing the news in the Evergreen Canyon Courier.
“I am so grateful to our community and foothills neighbors for your support but it is time for me to ‘plow my fields’,” she said, alluding to George Washington’s famous farewell address.
Many Republicans had been urging Gerou, who would likely appeal to unaffiliated voters, to enter the race for Democratic Sen. Jeanne Nicholson’s seat in Senate District 16, a toss-up race that may be key to determining which party controls the senate come 2015.
But doing so would have forced Gerou to endure what would have been a nasty, bruising primary fight against Republican Tim Neville and Dudley Brown of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, who is strongly supporting Neville and with whom Gerou memorably tangled with during 2013’s gun control fight.
Gerou filed an ethics complaint against Neville’s son, Joe, an RMGO lobbyist, after he allegedly threatened her with political retribution for not coming out strongly enough against a package of Democratic gun control bills, all of which Gerou opposed.
The complaint was later dismissed after Neville refused to testify.
Generally, establishment Republicans believe the more moderate Gerou had a better chance of unseating Nicholson, D-Blackhawk, than Neville does.
Republican John Keyser, an attorney and Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, is running for Gerou’s House District 25 seat.