Leonard withdraws from HD 25 race

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Divorce proceedings, income a factor

By Sal Christ

    State Rep. Tim Leonard, the current incumbent and Republican nominee for House District 25, has withdrawn from the November election, citing financial constraints and family obligations associated with his divorce proceedings as factors.
    In a letter e-mailed to the Courier on Wednesday night, Leonard said a recent ruling from the judge overseeing his divorce proceedings forced him to shift his priorities — namely returning to working full-time in order to financially fulfill the terms of his divorce, including alimony and child support payments.
    According to Leonard, who resides in Evergreen and has six children, the court ordered him to “turn over his entire compensation as a legislator for spousal maintenance and then earn three times that during the rest of the year for its child support calculations.” Leonard asserted that it will be impossible for him to fulfill those obligations while working as a legislator — a job he said “pays $30,000 a year and consumes at least 60 percent of my time. Plus, campaigning for office is full-time work every other year.”
    Leonard, who owns a commercial real estate business, suggested that he couldn't “re-double” his efforts in his business while also fulfilling his obligations as a state legislator.
    In response, a Republican vacancy committee will select someone to replace Leonard on the November ballot next week. The Jefferson County Republican Party said in an e-mail that John Newkirk and Donna Jack — the chair and vice-chair of the HD 25 vacancy committee — are currently accepting letters of interest for the seat; the committee will formally meet Aug. 7 to make an official selection.
    Leonard's withdrawal marks the second time in recent years that the GOP vacancy committee has had to appoint someone to fill the HD 25 seat; Leonard himself was originally appointed to the district seat in early 2016 after Jon Keyser stepped down to run for U.S. Senate. Leonard later retained the seat after defeating Democrat Tammy Story during the Nov. 2016 election.
    HD 25 covers an area that includes Evergreen, Conifer, Coal Creek, and parts of Golden and South Jeffco.
    Leonard wasn't immediately available for further comment.

To view Leonard's letter of withdrawal, visit: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4631084-PRESS-RELEASE-Rep-Leonard-Re-Candidacy.html

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