Shazam! There was barely a flash between Colorado House candidate Vince Chowdhury’s guilty plea today and his primary opponent Camille Ryckman raking in endorsements from 18 sitting lawmakers, including Speaker Andrew Romanoff. The message seems clear: No domestic abusers need apply.
Chowdhury, who is currently on the Jefferson County School Board, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to third-degree misdemeanor harassment involving a June 17 incident in which he choked and slapped his 16-year-old daughter after she and his wife did not open the garage door fast enough for him upon his arrival to their Golden home.
He received a one-year deferred sentence and must attend an anger management class.
After today’s guilty plea, Ryckman issued a press release announcing the “enthusiastic” support of Romanoff and 17 other Democratic members of the Colorado legislature, including:
Majority Leader Alice Madden
Assistant Majority Leader Terrance Carroll
Majority Whip Andy Kerr
Rep. Bernie Buescher, Chair of the Joint Budget Committee
Rep. Anne McGihon, Chair, House Health and Human Services
Speaker Pro Tem Cheri Jahn
Assistant Majority Whip Rep. Ed Casso
State Rep. Joel Judd, Chair, House Finance Committee
State Rep. Gwyn Green
State Rep. Debbie Benefield
State Rep. Paul Weissmann, Chair, House State Affairs and Veteran Committee
State Rep. Mark Ferrandino
State Rep. Nancy Todd
State Rep. Sara Gagliardi
State Sen. Betty Boyd
State Sen.Dan Gibbs
State Sen. Sue Windels
Said Kerr, in the release: "Camille, as a practical community leader and lifelong educator, knows what it takes to get things done. It would be an honor to serve with her at the State Capitol and we’re excited to support her candidacy."
Ryckman’s press release made no mention of Chowdhury.
UPDATE: Late Tuesday, the Jefferson County School Board met in special session and, with the exception of board member Dave Thomas, asked Chowdhury to resign. (Thomas, a former district attorney, represented Chowdhury in the case involving his daughter and wife).
And on Wednesday, the watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch also called for Chowdhury’s resignation from the school board. Chantell Tayler, director of CEW, termed Chowdhury’s actions "reprehensible."