Colo. state reps wore bulletproof vests over fear of retaliation amid misconduct scandal

Colo. state reps wore bulletproof vests over fear of retaliation amid misconduct scandal

Two Democratic state lawmakers in Colorado revealed on Friday that they have been wearing bulletproof vests to work at the state's capitol due to fears of violence.

Assistant House Majority Leader Rep. Alec Garnett (D) and Rep. Matt Gray (D) revealed in speeches on the House floor Friday that they've been wearing the vests for several weeks.

Following the speeches, the Colorado legislature voted to throw out state Rep. Steve Lebsock (D), who has been accused of sexual misconduct.

Garnett suggested he feared retaliation by Lebsock for supporting the movement to oust him.


Lebsock is accused of sexually harassing several women, and his Democratic colleagues have been pushing for weeks for his removal from the House.

"He threatened to ‘take me down,’ ” Garnett told The Denver Post of Lebsock.

“I fear for retaliation. I am in the chamber of the House of Representatives, and I’m wearing a bulletproof vest because I fear retaliation for telling the truth and standing up for victims of sexual harassment. I’ve been wearing it for three weeks," he said on the House floor, the Post reported.

Joining him, Gray told lawmakers that he puts his vest on in a parking garage to avoid his children seeing it.

“I put mine on in the parking garage so my kids don’t have to see it,” Gray said on the House floor, according to the report. “I don’t have to explain to them what it is.”

The Colorado State Patrol told the Post it had received no specific threats against the lawmakers. Security was recently heightened at the Colorado Capitol due to separate legislation.

“The Colorado State Patrol is aware of everything that is happening at the Capitol today, as we always are,” Sgt. Rob Madden told the Post.

Lebsock, elected as a Democrat, changed his partly affiliation to Republican just before being ousted Friday. It's unclear what effect that will have, or whether the committee selected to name his replacement will be comprised of Democrats or Republicans.