Wright drops out of HD54 race

Rep. Jared Wright is dropping out of his race for re-election, and is instead endorsing his GOP opponent, Yeulin Willett, the freshman legislator announced at a hastily called press conference today.

The embattled Fruita Republican, who has faced a series of problems since even before he was elected to the Colorado House in 2012, announced his plans to withdraw from the race in front of the Old County Courthouse Building in Grand Junction at a joint press conference with Willett, whom he immediately endorsed in the race.

Currently, there are two others running for the seat that includes all of Mesa County outside of the city and the western half of Delta County: Orchard Mesa Democrat Brad Webb and Palisade businessman James Fletcher, who left the Republican Party late last year to run as an independent.

While Wright wasn’t as concerned with those two men, Willett’s entry into the race late last month changed the landscape. It came just before Tuesday’s GOP caucuses, raising questions of whether Wright would even garner enough delegates to make the primary ballot in June.

Wright has had issues with this 2012 campaign and subsequent 14 months in office, starting with losing his job as a Fruita police officer under questionable circumstances, a $74,000 bankruptcy and questions from county residents about his choice in what bills to introduce into the Legislature.

Last month, he made national news when he left a loaded handgun unattended in a House committee hearing room.

Read the full story in Sunday’s Daily Sentinel.


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