Just in from the Grand Junction Sentinel's Charles Ashby, Rep. Jared Wright is officially one-and-done:
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.
So ends one of the shorter legislative careers in recent memory, which nearly didn't get off the ground at all after revelations about goldbricking work habits as a Fruita police officer and questionable personal financial decisions almost derailed his election in 2012. Since then, Rep. Wright has been a steadfast member of the "clown car caucus" of less-than-serious far right legislators, whose proposed bills have done much to harm the entire Republican brand on their way to the nearest "kill committee."
Most recently, Rep. Wright's embarrassing negligence with his concealed weapon at the Colorado Capitol has reportedly infuriated a large number of fellow Republicans–unsurprisingly, starting with the many legislators who themselves pack heat under the Gold Dome. Wright's "misplacing" of a loaded pistol in a committee hearing room has cast an unwelcome light on the dubious practice of lawmakers carrying weapons in a public building where the general public–even those with concealed weapons permits of their own–cannot.
Despite what seemed to be some support for Wright as an incumbent, which included a fundraising appearance from Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso, it looks like the plug has finally been pulled. We can tell you that Democrats have entertained the hope of a longshot pickup in this race, owing in addition to Wright's weakness to a good candidate in the form of Palisade vintner Brad Webb. As a result, they might have been the ones pulling most for Wright to win the primary. As an open seat, this district leans heavily Republican, but we expect Webb to campaign vigorously nonetheless.
And we'll have to see who the longsuffering residents of Laura Bradford's former district want next.