Prominent GOP legislator Stephens announces bid for U.S. Senate seat

Rep. Amy Stephens, the former majority leader before the Republicans lost control of the Colorado House last year, has entered the ring for U.S. Senate.

Stephens, a Colorado Springs Republican, will join three others already in the hunt for the GOP nomination, and the right to run against Democrat U.S. Sen. Mark Udall.

“Middle-class families are being hurt by runaway spending, government over-reaches and Washington politicians who have lost touch with their constituents,” Stephens said. “We deserve a federal government that reflects our values by upholding the Constitution, exercising fiscal discipline and respecting the privacy of law-abiding citizens.”

Last year, Stephens won a hotly contested re-election bid to the statehouse, where she was highly criticized by members of her own party for being the lead sponsor of the state’s health care exchange program, which is part of the federal Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

As a result, that state program, called Connect for Health Colorado, was dubbed “AmyCare” by her opponents.

Stephens joins an already crowded field for the GOP primary, including two others who also serve in the statehouse, Sens. Owen Hill of Colorado Springs and Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs. Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, who lost a similar Senate bid against U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in 2010, also is in the race.

In a related matter, Owens picked up a major tea party endorsement from former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, which the freshman state senator already is using to generate campaign donations.


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