Rep. Tim Geitner (R-Colorado Springs) announced in a Feb. 24 Facebook post that he would not be seeking election to House District 20 for a third term in the Colorado House of Representatives.

In the wake of Geitner’s decision, Monument Trustee Darcy Schoening, who was also a contributor to the politics blog The Colorado Herald, jumped into the HD20 race. She will be competing against retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Israel Del Toro for the Republican nomination.

In his Facebook announcement, Geitner cited a desire to focus more attention on his family as the primary reason he will not be seeking re-election.

“Everything I have done in my life has been to defend my family, country, state, and beliefs,” he wrote. “After spending time on a battlefield in Afghanistan, I stepped into the political arena here at home because I am worried about the world in which my sons are growing up. During the last three legislative sessions, and now during my fourth, I have fought for our shared values. I am proud of the battles that I have won standing alongside my Republican colleagues; I will continue to grieve the daily attacks on our way of life that we have not yet been able to defeat. As many of you know, we are a family that values our faith and takes seriously our responsibility as homeschooling parents. The many late nights I have fought under the gold dome, and numerous evenings and weekends spent defending our beloved Colorado have been a sacrifice my family willingly made. However, now with one teenage boy just a few years from leaving the nest, and a second son right behind him, Carrie and I believe that God is finally calling us to slow down and focus more on instilling our values, spending time with our boys, and honoring our family.”

Geitner during a Sept. 25, 2021 town hall in Falcon.

During a Feb. 15 caucus training at Fervent Church in Colorado Springs, hosted by conservative activist group FEC United, Geitner was targeted by speakers, including Rep. Dave Williams (R-Colorado Springs), specifically for his support of a 2021 bill regarding civics education which included the “history, culture, and social contribution of minorities” in Colorado.

“That all comes back to local control,” said Schoening, who filed her campaign affidavit with TRACER on Feb. 24. “Once they signed that bill it gave the state the ability to come in and dictate some curriculum. To me, that bill should have never been signed into law. That was not a conservative bill, in my mind. As we move forward, we have to look at El Paso County and look at towns like Monument. What’s right for the citizens of Monument isn’t what’s right for the citizens of Boulder, at the end of the day.”

Schoening says Geitner’s decision motivated her to run.

“With [Geitner’s] vacancy, it’s important we fill the role with a strong conservative, and as somebody who has lived in Monument for six years now and who is a voice of the people, I feel I’m ready to jump in the race,” she said.

Schoening was appointed to the Monument Board of Trustees in September 2021, following the vacancy left by Jamy Unruh. Since then she has come under scrutiny for spreading COVID misinformation, telling “Groyper mommyMichelle Malkin, “Studies have clearly demonstrated that masks are useless against viral spread, and many D-20 parents and students don’t want to wear them. As Americans, that is their constitutional right. … We will no longer sit idly by while such tyrants hurt our children. The people have had enough, and so have our kids.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, masks do work and are recommended to stop the spread of COVID-19. The CDC’s “Science Brief” on mask use notes, “A study of an outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an environment notable for congregate living quarters and close working environments, found that use of face coverings on-board was associated with a 70% reduced risk of infection.”

The Colorado Herald, Schoening’s politics blog, referred to COVID-19 as an “orchestrated pandemic.”

Asked about her position on COVID, Schoening said, “I think that COVID has been used to get control of the general population, and it’s been used as a manipulative force to erode away at local control and erode away at state’s rights.”

Unlike a majority of El Paso County Republicans running for office in 2022, Schoening, who attended the Feb. 19 “Election Integrity 2.0” event at Fervent Church in Colorado Springs, takes a tempered approach to conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 Presidential election.

“I don’t agree with either crowd,” she said. “I think the elections in Colorado, we’ve seen a lot of disparities, but I don’t claim to be an expert. I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to say there’s fraud in Colorado and I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to say there’s fraud nationwide until there is a break in the case, so to speak. Until there is some irrefutable evidence in front of us, and if and when that happens it would be time to take a harder look at what we’re doing. I do believe that in the meantime, whether you feel the election was legitimate or not, there are a lot of citizens who don’t feel like it was, so I think that actions need to be taken to restore their confidence in order to prevent another event that happened on Jan. 6.”

Democratic Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Republican El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman, and other elected officials have repeatedly denied suggestions that Colorado’s elections were impacted in any way by widespread voter fraud.

While Schoening doesn’t support abortion, she does think Colorado Republicans need to reconsider their approach.

The Colorado House Health and Insurance Committee recently killed a slate of anti-abortion bills sponsored by Williams, Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), and Rep. Stephanie Luck (R-Pueblo) during a grueling 12-hour session on Feb. 23.

“I’m a conservative, so I am of the mindset that at its core, abortion is still murder,” Schoening said. “But that said, I don’t think the Republicans have done a very good job of writing bills and proposing solutions to those bills for mothers that are pregnant with unwanted children. If we’re going to write bills that take away peoples’ right to obtain an abortion then we need to have follow-up and support systems for those women. Until we do that, we really can’t pass bills like that.”

Despite the late campaign announcement, Schoening plans to get on the November ballot using the caucus and assembly process, as opposed to petitioning.

Republicans in El Paso County will hold their caucuses on March 1.

“I’ve already started reaching out to all the delegates and I’ve got a couple campaign people already making calls on my behalf,” she said. “We’re going to get moving with a mailer here shortly, and I believe that my support system in El Paso County and throughout the state will be able to get me through assembly and on the ballot.”