NewsElection Watch


Few incumbents running for state legislature in 2022

State Capitol
Posted at 11:20 AM, May 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 17:45:00-04

COLORADO — 2022 is a packed election year for Coloradans. With all statewide offices including Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Treasurer as well as county elected offices.

When it comes to southern Colorado's representation in the General Assembly, 2022 is not a big year for incumbents. This is partly because of term limits in the state and many incumbents deciding not to run or being redrawn out of districts.

"I think in the legislature there are two costs, direct costs to constituents," Political Science Department Chair Joshua Dunn at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) said.

Dunn points to a lack of experience and seniority at the capitol for people in southern Colorado.

In 2022, Republican state representative Mary Bradfield will face a challenger in the June primary. She's the only incumbent state representative running for reelection.

Marc Snyder, a Democrat representing Manitou Springs and western parts of El Paso County is the only incumbent Democrat running in the house. Tony Exum Sr. is running for state Senate, in a seat current Senator Pete Lee was drawn out of in redistricting.

Term limits have become a point of conversation for decades across the country. In Colorado, term limits are in place for many offices.

At the state capitol, House Representatives can serve for four two-year terms and State Senators can serve for two four-year terms.

Dunn is critical of term limits. He and many other political science experts believe it gives more power to other parts of the government such as the executive branch.

"If you want legislative oversight you've got to have legislators who know how things work and there's no avoiding that takes time," Dunn said.

Supporters of term limits argue lawmakers become less effective over time in office.


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