#MeTooElection 2018News

Aurora businesswoman to challenge embattled state Rep. Melton for his seat

Author: Marianne Goodland - October 12, 2018 - Updated: October 13, 2018

Lynn Myers (Courtesy photo)

Lynn Myers, a senior vice president of the Denver South Economic Partnership, has been chosen by a Republican vacancy committee to run for the House District 41 seat currently held by embattled Rep. Jovan Melton, an Aurora Democrat.

Melton had been running unopposed for his fourth and final term after his initial challenger, Dahlia Jean Weinstein, dropped out in September. Any votes cast for Weinstein, whose name will still appear on the November ballot, will instead be counted for Myers, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

In a statement, Myers said that “having lived and worked in Aurora for 40 years, I just could not sit on the sidelines anymore. The citizens of HD 41 deserve a voice in the legislature that can work across the aisle and solve problems. That is how I approached my work as an Arapahoe County Commissioner, where we found ways to build consensus across the public and private sectors to build road, parks and libraries. And that is what I want to bring to this race.”

In addition to serving on the Arapahoe County commission, Myers is a realtor and a former chair of the Centennial Airport Board and the E-470 Public Highway Authority Board. She currently serves on the Arapahoe/Douglas Workforce Board and on the Board of Developmental Pathways.

“You can be sure we’ll put significant resources into this campaign,” said Jeff Hays, chair of the state Republican party. “Given the recent news, Rep. Melton deserves a serious challenge. We have a duty to offer the voters a viable alternative.”

Melton has been asked to resign by Democratic elected officials and party leaders after it was revealed that he had been involved in a domestic violence incident in 1999 when he was a 20-year-old student at CU-Boulder. Melton was convicted of harassment, placed under a permanent restraining order and given a 12-month deferred sentence. A second incident, in 2008, led to an arrest for assault, but the alleged victim told Colorado Politics that Melton never touched her and said she believed the arresting officer acted out of racial bias.

Melton issued a statement Tuesday in which he apologized to both the victim in the 1999 incident and to the alleged victim in 2008 incident.

“While I categorically deny any allegations that suggest any violence against the women involved, I am both embarrassed and heartbroken to be reminded of my immaturity all those years ago,” Melton told Colorado Politics. “As a victim of childhood violence, to have caused pain and anguish for these women is horrible and for that I am sorry. I hope that both women can forgive me for the emotional pain that I’ve caused them.”

RELATED: House leaders call on legislator Jovan Melton to resign; alleged victim speaks out

Members of Denver’s African American community are standing behind Melton and have accused Democrats of employing a double standard: punishing Melton for something that happened 20 years ago when they did not seek the same punishment for other members of the House Democratic caucus who have been involved in other incidents.

RELATED: ‘Political lynching’: Leading black Democrats scold party for stance on Rep. Melton

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland is the chief legislative reporter for Colorado Politics. She's covered the Colorado General Assembly for 20 years, starting off in 1998 with the Silver & Gold Record, the editorially-independent newspaper at CU that was shuttered in 2009. She also writes for six rural newspapers in northeastern Colorado. Marianne specializes in rural issues, agriculture, water and, during election season, campaign finance. In her free time (ha!) she lives in Lakewood with her husband, Jeff; a cantankerous Shih-Tzu named Sophie; and Gunther the cat. She is also an award-winning professional harpist.