Speaking at a small dinner in Teller County, Schaffer told a crowd of about 100 that he had decided to run, according to two local party operatives who were there.
“He announced that we were the first to know that he is a candidate,” said County Commissioner and former county Republican Party Chairman Bob Campbell. Campbell added that Schaffer said a formal announcement and release would be coming at a later date.
Current Teller County Republican Party Chairman Mark Sievers also confirmed Schaffer’s announcement: “He did say that. He was unequivocal.”
Schaffer emerged as a top potential candidate after former Rep. Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) unexpectedly dropped out of the race in March. But he had not strongly indicated that he would run.
Democrats appear ready to line up behind the candidacy of Rep. Mark Udall (Colo.). The seat is vacant because Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) decided to retire after his second term.
Schaffer did not return a call seeking comment by press time.