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Colorado Rep. Matt Gray won’t run for reelection after DUI arrest

Speaker of the House KC Becker, right, meets with House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, left, and Rep. Matt Gray, center, as the second regular session of the 72nd Colorado General Assembly convenes at the Colorado State Capitol on Jan. 8, 2020. (Kathryn Scott/Special to The Colorado Sun)
Democratic Party will convene a vacancy committee to select a candidate for Broomfield-area seat

State Rep. Matt Gray won’t run for reelection to a fourth and final term in November as planned after he was arrested last week on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the Colorado Democratic Party.

The state Democratic Party will convene a vacancy committee to select a candidate to run for Gray’s House District 33 seat in November.

“Colorado Democrats are thankful for Rep. Gray’s service to his constituents in House District 33 and the people of Colorado,” Megan Burns, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Democratic Party, said in a written statement. “We wish him and his family all the best.”

Gray, a Broomfield Democrat, was arrested Thursday as he tried to pick up his kids from school. Broomfield police officers wrote in a report that he was slurring his words and unsteady on his feet and that his breath smelled of alcohol.

Gray denied being intoxicated, according to police, though he declined a breath test and a sobriety test. He said in a tweet that was later deleted that his behavior and demeanor were a result of his anxiety and depression.

The 41-year-old is in the final year of his third two-year term in the Colorado House. He is the only Democrat on the June 28 primary ballot in House District 33, which is why a vacancy committee must be convened to select who will replace him in the race to represent the district.

State Rep. Matt Gray. (Broomfield Police Department)

Gray, a former prosecutor, was first elected in 2016 and has championed transportation issues at the Capitol, particularly around funding road and transit projects. He was also one of the architects of Colorado’s new paid family and parental leave program, approved by voters in 2020.

Gray participated in work at the Capitol remotely on Monday and Tuesday. He has not publicly discussed his arrest.

Gray did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday from The Colorado Sun. The Colorado Democratic Party said Gray withdrew his candidacy Tuesday.

Gray had not communicated his plans to House Democratic leadership as of midday Tuesday.

“I’m trying to give Matt a little bit of time to figure out what he’s going to do,” House Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver, told reporters.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed concern in recent days for Gray’s well-being.

“The incredible mental stress of the past couple years should cause us all to feel compassion for anyone struggling with addiction or mental health,” said state Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail. “Rep. Gray is a great champion for the most vulnerable in our state, and I hope he gets any help he needs.”

The Denver Post first reported that Gray has abandoned his plans to seek reelection. The vacancy committee will meet May 1 to select Gray’s replacement.

Gray is scheduled to be arraigned in the DUI case in June.

Read more at The Colorado Sun

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported, nonpartisan news organization dedicated to covering Colorado issues. To learn more, go to coloradosun.com.