I haven’t written about the bad blood between Rep. Marsha Looper and House Majority Leader Amy Stephens for a while, partially because they were both a little quiet after the El Paso County assembly. But Looper, R-Calhan, is starting to scrap again, while Stephens, R-Monument, has parted ways with a consultant who had been running communications for her.
The pair are running in a Republican primary for House District 19, and the campaign has been, well, kinda nasty. And it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon.
In a statement on Tuesday, Looper charged that Stephens and her supporters had gotten a Salt Lake City-based company last week to make fake polling calls to voters in the district and lying about Looper’s record.
“My opponent doesn’t seem to care about the importance of Easter season by calling and harassing families throughout holy week,” Looper said in the statement. “She continues to spin my effective and conservative legislative record because hers is liberal and left leaning.”
Stephens replied in an email on Wednesday that she denounced Looper’s accusations, and said she is running a “clean, issues-based campaign.”
“I think the public deserves better than two respectable candidates spewing vitriole at one another, and I think they’re smarter than 10-word sound bytes that contain half-truths and rumor,” Stephens wrote. “If my opponent can provide some clear and real evidence that this has my fingerprints on it, I’m happy to comment. Until then, I’m working on the state budget.”
She didn’t respond, however, to a follow-up email asking if she has a press secretary, since consultant Dustin Olson is not with her campaign any more. Olson, who spoke and wrote statements for Stephens for months, has not been with Stephens’ campaign for at least two weeks. Stephens has answered several messages personally.
Lana Fore-Warkocz runs communications for Looper’s campaign.