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Former legislative aide chosen as HD 25 GOP candidate

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Szutenbach replaces Leonard on the November ballot

By Sal Christ

Steve Szutenbach, a former longtime legislative aide to state Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, has been selected by a GOP vacancy committee to replace state Rep. Tim Leonard, R-Evergreen, as the Republican nominee for House District 25 on the November ballot.
    Announced Wednesday afternoon by the Jefferson County Republicans, Szutenbach was one of three finalists considered for the appointment after Leonard announced Aug. 1 that he would drop his bid for re-election following a court ruling in his divorce last month. Szutenbach will face Democrat Lisa Cutter in November's election.
    Szutenbach, an Evergreen resident and small business owner, is a retired U.S. Air Force veteran with ties to both Illinois and Florida. Married to fellow U.S. Air Force veteran Mary Pat Szutenbach, a professor of nursing at Regis University, Szutenbach is also the father of two children and grandfather to five. While Szutenbach is believed to be a first-time candidate in Colorado, he served as an aide to Neville for five sessions — first during his tenure in what was Senate District 22 prior to redistricting, as well during his current tenure serving Senate District 16 in South Jeffco.
    Szutenbach is the second person appointed to represent HD 25 in some capacity in recent years. Leonard himself was appointed to the seat by a vacancy committee in early 2016 after Jon Keyser stepped down to run for U.S. Senate. Leonard later retained that seat after defeating Democrat Tammy Story in the Nov. 2016 election.
    HD 25 covers an area that includes Evergreen, Conifer, Coal Creek, and parts of Golden and South Jeffco.
    Szutenbach wasn't immediately available for comment.

Contact reporter Sal Christ at sal@evergreenco.com or at 303-350-1035. Follow her on Twitter at @decriture.