FRIDAY UPDATE: The Hill's Alexandra Jaffe reports on our scoop:
According to local news site ColoradoPols.com, Republican strategists in the state are urging [Stephens] to run in a race that currently lacks any likely GOP contenders…
The purple tint of Colorado has given some Republicans hope they'd be able to mount a challenge against Udall in 2014, but he maintains high popularity in the state and has posted strong fundraising numbers so far this year, sitting on $2.5 million for his reelection fight at the close of the first quarter.
Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Focus on the Family).
The so-far fruitless search for a Republican to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall next year continues. We last reported that GOP Rep. Cory Gardner will not run against Udall, leaving the field open for wide-ranging speculation about various possible opponents–including former Rep. Bob Beauprez, Treasurer Walker Stapleton, former Gov. Bill Owens, and even freshman state Sen. Owen Hill. None of these candidates seem particularly resonant, but that's the state of the troubled GOP bench these days.
Sources tell us this bleak picture may be about to change: former Colorado House Majority Leader Amy Stephens of Colorado Springs is being courted by GOP strategists to run against Udall. Stephens is a former Focus on the Family public policy "specialist," who wrote two abstinence-only sex-ed school curricula, Sex, Lies & the Truth, and No Apologies. As House Majority Leader, Rep. Stephens played a major role in the killing of the 2012 civil unions bill, which without extraordinary action by Republican leadership would have passed with bipartisan support.
Stephens' generally solid right wing credentials are somewhat complicated by her on-again-off-again sponsorship of the legislation that created Colorado's new health insurance exchange, a major component of "Obamacare" nonetheless favored by many business interests. It will be interesting to see, should Stephens decide to run for U.S. Senate, how that plays with the GOP base. To her credit, she did survive a primary challenge from Rep. Marsha Looper that was largely based on Stephens' support for this bill.
Bottom line: Stephens has an enormous amount of wedge-issue baggage, and on balance there's little to suggest there she would be any more competitive against Sen. Udall than any of the other names that have been mentioned (or already declined). That said, her resume, institutional support on the Christian right, and relatively clean slate in terms of public opinion–this is a nice way of saying she has no name ID–could make the race more interesting than, say, Bob Beauprez would make it.