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Colorado Senate Candidate Glenn Details Parents’ Domestic Violence

Questions arose about 1983 complaint filed against him by his father

Colorado Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Darryl Glenn speaks during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Colorado Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Darryl Glenn speaks during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Colorado Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, who has been dogged by questions about a 1983 assault complaint filed against him by his father, abruptly shifted the conversation Wednesday with an admission that the incident was part of a childhood wracked by domestic violence.  

“I understand why some people might say, ‘How can he not remember something like this?’” Glenn said in a statement. “I want to do my best to explain that: The painful truth is that my parents’ marriage was violent. This was not the first night my father attacked my mother, and maybe more sadly, this wasn’t the worst time it happened — not even close.”  

Glenn won Colorado’s Republican nomination for the Senate in June. His repeated assertions that he had no knowledge of the complaint were challenged this week when The Denver Post obtained police and court records with his name on them.  


Colorado GOP Senate Candidate Faces Questions About 1983 Assault Complaint


His explanation still leaves a few unanswered questions about the way he has handled the revelations, the Post reported Thursday . When reporters asked him about the charges in May, he said he knew nothing about it, speculated that it involved someone else with the same name or, alternately, that it involved an older half brother who has since died.  

Assertions in his most recent statement that he never appeared in court and that the charges were dropped “almost immediately” are also contradicted by court records, the Post reported. 


Glenn, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, has campaigned on his honesty and integrity. He was a prime time speaker during the opening night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week.  

His father, Ernest Glenn, died in 2006. Glenn said in the statement that he had not planned to talk about domestic violence during the campaign. But he pieced together an account of what happened through tearful conversations with his mother.  

He said he now remembers that his father hit his mother that night, and Glenn got between them to try to protect her. “The police were called,” and his father gave a report that Glenn, who had just turned 18, had hit him. Glenn said neither he nor his mother remember him hitting his father.  

He said he reconciled with his father toward the end of his father’s life.  


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“When you grow up in a violent home, the fights, the screaming, the pain all blur together,” the statement read. “To survive, you block as much of it out of your head as you can in the moment. You try to forget it going forward.  What happened that night was one in a long series of incidents between my parents. In that sense, it was not really memorable.”

Glenn is challenging Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet, who at one time was considered vulnerable and offered Republicans an opportunity to flip a Senate seat in a year when Democrats are trying to take control of the chamber. But Glenn emerged as the Republican candidate only after a tumultuous primary season that included allegations of blackmail and resignations by party officials.

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