GOP candidate Clapp emerges in state Senate race

Lauri Clapp, the Republican running for a contested Senate seat south of the Denver area, has reappeared in the public eye following demands from her opponent to “come out of hiding.”

On Tuesday The Colorado Independent reported that Clapp had been absent from the campaign trail for most of the month, citing claims that the former state House member’s campaign had skipped out on a number of public forums attended by both Republicans and Democrats, including a panel hosted by the South Metro Chamber of Commerce earlier in the month.

This week Democrat Linda Newell, a business consultant who is challenging Clapp, demanded that her challenger “come out of hiding,” telling The Colorado Independent that “even the sponsors of the community forums, even the Republicans are asking me where she is.”

Although Clapp has not returned requests for comment responding to the claims, the Rocky Mountain News did catch up with her at a small shindig at the Columbine Country Club hosted by the Littleton Women’s Republican Club:

When asked about Newell’s claim that she has not attended several forums, Clapp said she didn’t want to discuss that.

Clapp also said she hasn’t been able to make some forums because she works full time in sales and that meeting the constituents one-on-one while walking the district is the best approach.

“I never take the vote for granted. You have to work for it and I’ve been doing that,” Clapp said.

Both candidates are running for a seat in Senate District 26, which is being vacated by Republican Steve Ward. The district includes the cities of Centennial and Englewood.

Also read The Colorado Independent’s continuing coverage of the SD 26 race.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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