Colorado's Republicans have a new state party chair.

Jeff Hays, a former El Paso County GOP chairman, was elected Saturday to lead the state party for the next two years, including the 2018 governor's race.

Hays succeeds Steve House, who announced in January he wouldn't seek another term.

The Gazette reports that Hays defeated George Athanasopoulos at a Republican State Central Committee meeting in Englewood.

Hays won endorsements from most prominent Republicans, while Athanasopoulos campaigned against what he called party elites.

Athanasopoulos unsuccessfully challenged Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter last year.