Rumors of a Republican statehouse leader considering a run for Congress have been circulating the Colorado Capitol for weeks now, but they focused on former House Minority Leader Patrick Neville. Now it looks like Neville’s former right-hand man, Rep. Kevin Van Winkle (R-Highland Ranch), is also thinking about federal office.
On January 8, someone registered the URL “kevinvanwinkleforcongress.com.” The registration is anonymous and Van Winkle did not respond to multiple phone messages requesting comment, so the Colorado Times Recorder is unable to confirm that the representative or his campaign is responsible for the purchasing the domain. This article will be updated with any response received.
Van Winkle, who served as Assistant Minority Leader under Neville, ran to replace him as leader of the House Republicans when they held their caucus elections last November. He lost to Rep. Hugh Mckean (R-Loveland), considered the preferred candidate of establishment GOP leaders eager to show a shift away from Neville’s far-right philosophy after disappointing election results in 2018 and 2020.
Recently Van Winkle helped organize the Legislative Audit Committee hearing that promoted misinformation and conspiracy theories about election fraud nationally and in Colorado. Van Winkle also promoted the same debunked conspiracy theories on right-wing talk radio, appearing w/ Rep. Dave Williams. The pair of legislators went on the air and asked listeners to sign a petition rife with false information.
Colorado’s congressional districts will be redrawn this year, using data from last year’s Census. Given the state’s surging population, Colorado is expected to gain an additional seat, creating a new opportunity of office. With boundaries as yet to be determined, however, it’s anyone’s guess where the new district will be or what if any partisan lean it will have.