State Senate candidate Suzanne Staiert has been trying to distance herself from her partisan history, going so far as to scrub her campaign website earlier this year of information about her Republican background and her role in prosecuting former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, over minor ethics issues.

So it might have come as a shock to Staiert when KNUS talk radio host George Brauchler, a fellow Republican, introduced Staiert to his radio audience Saturday with, as Brauchler put it, “a little reminder to people of how you beat [Hickenlooper] like a baby harp seal on some of those ethics issues.”

Staiert received that introduction with a light laugh, and the two discussed the ethics charges before the radio interview moved on to Staiert’s race against Democrat Chris Kolker.

“Yeah, this one is really competitive,” said Staiert, referring to her swing district in Arapahoe County.

Brauchler speculated that Democrats are focusing on Staiert’s race because of a “little bit of Democrat revenge here for what you did to their golden boy, John Hickenlooper.”

Staiert sidestepped the accusation, saying “I don’t know what is motivating it.”

“Well, I think the restrictions and COVID are really the top thing on people’s minds,” said Staiert when asked about the issues she hears about from people in the district. “You know, a lot of small business owners in the district who have been really hurt and you know just can’t imagine more regulations and restrictions on their ability to operate.”

Education is also a top issue, said Staiert, and public safety is a “concern.”

“I have never once been asked, you know ‘How do you feel about the president or federal politics?'” said Staiert.

Brauchler said Staiert’s race is important because the Democratic-Party-controlled legislature isn’t holding Democratic Gov. Jared Polis accountable for his COVID policies. And Staiert’s swing race could impact which party controls the state Senate.

“What we have seen, despite the fact that there has been a legislative session in the middle of the pandemic, is that the Democrats who control the House and the Senate have basically just rolled over on their back and said, ‘Rub my belly,’ and done nothing hold the governor accountable for whatever orders he’s issued.”

Do you want to see this addressed, asked Brauchler of Staiert.

“Yeah, that’s been a big frustration of people, is this picking and choosing certain things he thinks are important to issue executive orders and picking and choosing businesses that can stay open or churches or gatherings,” answered Staiert, who declines to comment to the Colorado Times Recorder.