Colorado Springs Republican Sen. Dave Schultheis has announced he will not seek re-election in 2010. The staunch conservative posted a blog with the news at his website Monday night and emailed a statement to the Colorado Springs Gazette. He made no apologies for his often controversial positions and rigid approach to policy.
During my years in the Legislature, I have purposely never sought a leadership position, as I believed my role was to stand firmly against every temptation to moderate my conservative views for greater acceptance by the caucus,” he wrote. “As a result, I felt free and unencumbered, to hold high the banner of each and every conservative principle that Republicans say they believe in … and to do so without compromise.
Schultheis has served in the Colorado House and Senate since 2000. In February he outraged Democrats when he said he planned to vote against a bill to require HIV tests for pregnant women because the disease “stems from sexual promiscuity” and he didn’t think the Legislature should “remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior.” Schultheis proceeded to cast the lone vote against SB 179, which passed 32-1 and moves on to the House.
“HIV does not just come from sexual promiscuity, it comes from many other things — contaminated blood, for one,” fired back one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Lois Tochtrop, after Schultheis spoke on the Senate floor.
“What this bill will do and why it’s so important to test the woman when she is pregnant — if she is HIV-positive, treatment is started immediately to protect the baby, the unborn baby,” the Thornton Democrat, who is also a nurse, said.
Listen to Schultheis and Tochtrop here.
Schultheis last week signed onto a letter with Colorado conservative lawmakers Sens. Scott Renfroe, Kevin Lundberg, Greg Brophy and Rep. Kent Lambert endorsing New York Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman over “liberal Republican” candidate Dede Scozzafava.
The Republican establishment should stop supporting candidates that merely call themselves Republicans to get elected, and whose actions then undermine principled Republican legislation. We should represent our loyal Party members better by heeding their warnings against compromising Republican principles. Unlike Scozzafava’s views, the Republican Party Platform is pro-life, pro-capitalist, and pro-traditional marriage, and is opposed to radical leftist groups like ACORN.
Schultheis Republican primary opponent Tom McDowell was moved to run against Schultheis for the way he said Schultheis’s single-minded focus on abortion was hurting the party, amounting to Republican “fratricide.”
I oppose him, said McDowell, “because he’s too in love with single issue inspired fratricide. I expect that his wing of the party will try to put up someone else, but that candidate will have to carry Schultheis’ fratricidal baggage.'”
The primary might well have echoed the front range 4th Congressional District race last year, where moderate Democrat Betsy Markey unseated social conservative Republican U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave.
After considerable deliberation, I have decided to forgo running for my second and final four-year term as a Colorado State Senator representing Senate District 9. I will, however, continue to serve out my current term, which culminates at the end of 2010, concluding ten years of political service for the citizens of Colorado. This has been an extremely difficult decision for me, as I love the challenge of serving the best interests of my constituents on legislative matters, by steadfastly advocating for traditional, conservative values, which I know to be the best overall values for the citizens of Colorado and the nation.
After much prayer and discussion with family members and close friends, I have come to this decision in order to spend more time with family, including my five rapidly-growing grandsons. As is common knowledge, the responsibilities of political office are extremely demanding on one’s time and schedule — often to the detriment of time spent with family and friends.
Having served to the very best of my ability since 2001, first in Colorado’s House of Representatives for six years and now in the Colorado State Senate, I have consistently attempted to uphold Conservative principles to the best of my ability, even when it was difficult to do so. I remain convinced that those principles are essential for a society whose citizens value freedom, liberty and personal responsibility.
The citizens of Senate 9 District deserve a strong, unwavering Conservative to be their Senator; it is an important responsibility that I have taken very seriously. While I have been honored that the voters have had faith in me over these years, it has always been my view that if there were others who could fulfill those duties with the same level of passion for Conservative principles as I, then I could direct my efforts to other areas; there is so much to do to reclaim the vision of our Founding Fathers. There are now individuals standing in the wings who can and will passionately and consistently carry that mantle.
During my years in the Legislature, I have purposely never sought a leadership position, as I believed my role was to stand firmly against every temptation to moderate my conservative views for greater acceptance by the caucus. As a result, I felt free and unencumbered, to hold high the banner of each and every conservative principle that Republicans say they believe in…and to do so without compromise.
It is with a great deal of gratitude to the citizens of Senate District 9, and a strong sense of personal accomplishment that I move forward to meet future challenges.
God bless you, the citizens of Senate District 9 and of Colorado.