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January 31, 2024 10:03 AM UTC

Rose "Purge-liese?" Rep. Soper Cries Foul Over Committee Booting

  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Matt Soper (R).

As Charles Ashby at the Grand Junction Sentinel reports, newly-appointed Colorado House Minority Leader Rose Pugliese has the first of what’s expected to be many intra-caucus squabbles on her hands, facing allegations of backstabbery over changes to committee assignments that left Rep. Matt Soper of Delta without his most desired musical chair:

No sooner after he was appointed to the coveted House committee that deals with agricultural issues just before the 2024 session started earlier this month, Rep. Matt Soper was taken off by newly minted House Minority Leader Rose Pugliese on Tuesday.

While the official reason was to make way for Rep. Mike Lynch, R-Wellington, after he resigned as minority leader last week, and Pugliese was elected by the House Republican Caucus to take his place, Soper said there was more to it.

The Delta Republican said he doesn’t believe Pugliese took that action as revenge for challenging her for that leadership position, losing to her on an 11-8 vote. He said it was because of Rep. Marc Catlin, R-Montrose. [Pols emphasis]

“Minutes after I just lost the bid for minority leader, Catlin goes running to Rose to say you’ve got to remove Matt from agriculture,” Soper said. “Rose honored that. Caving to one member because he doesn’t know if we’re going to end up as opponents for a Senate primary or not. I think it’s pretty crummy politics to think that you could score an advantage by knocking off a possible competitor.”

Reps. Soper and Marc Catlin are both considering runs for the state Senate District 5 seat being vacated by Sen. Perry Will, who announced he will run for the Garfield County Commission seat finally being opened up by the retiring commissioner a vita John Martin. Rep. Catlin has served as the vice-chair of the House Agriculture, Water & Natural Resources Committee since 2022, the only Republican vice-chair in the Democratic supermajority House. Pugliese claims that Soper got the boot because ex-Minority Leader Mike Lynch “was given his pick of committees” after resigning his leadership post in disgrace last week, which seems like a strange way to reward resigning from leadership in disgrace–and for Soper the snub is unmistakable.

Although Minority Leader Pugliese currently represents a district in Colorado Springs, her political roots are in Mesa County and she knows the players and races there very well. Far from a fresh unifying face to lead the struggling micro-minority, it would appear that Pugliese came to power with her own list of scores to settle.


4 thoughts on “Rose “Purge-liese?” Rep. Soper Cries Foul Over Committee Booting

  1. As is noted above, Rose went to political school in Mesa County. There is likely nowhere in Colorado with a more well-developed, thoroughly dominating Republican elite, applying nepotism and cronyism at every turn. It has been so for as long as I can remember…and I came here in 1974.

    The same people, and their kids, have been running the place for decades and appear to be happy to continue. 

    I first met Rose in about 2007(?) or so when she first got to Mesa co. and ran for county commissioner. As chairman of the WCC Energy committee, I took an opportunity to share the community perspective with her during a gathering at Main St. Bagels in Grand Jct. She seemed to listen to me and was agreeable to meeting again to learn more. Some days later, she cancelled.

    It only took a meeting with COGA for Rose to decide she didn’t want to hear any more from me. She has become a loyal industry shill and facilitator. But, Rose never stops looking out for Rose. Don’t expect otherwise.


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