DENVER | U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s bid for a second term and a toss-up race in a new congressional district highlight the Republican party’s bid in Colorado to equalize — or even reverse — Democrats’ current 4-3 edge in the state’s delegation to the lower chamber of Congress.
From the get-go, Boebert established herself as a national lightning rod in assailing what she calls “the Biden regime” and inflation, crime, dependency on foreign oil and U.S. border policies under President Joe Biden’s watch. Her prospects in the mostly rural, energy-rich 3rd Congressional District that’s bigger than Pennsylvania were boosted by redistricting that made the western and southern Colorado district more Republican.
Boebert’s challenger, conservative Democrat and former Aspen city councilman Adam Frisch, contends the Donald Trump-aligned Boebert has sacrificed her district’s interests for what he calls unrelenting and divisive “angertainment.” He points to Boebert’s rhetoric on social media and sympathetic news outlets that accuses Biden and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of seeking to destroy the soul of the nation.
Frisch vows, if elected, to join the bipartisan “Problem Solvers Caucus” in Congress, a sharp turn from Boebert’s repudiation of across-the-aisle census building.
Colorado’s GOP also hopes to pick up another seat in the new 8th Congressional District, created by redistricting from the state’s population growth. State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer, a former Weld County commissioner, pledges to get tough on crime, unleash the district’s oil and gas industry and rein in government spending. She once supported a blanket ban on abortion but now says she’d respect exceptions if the mother’s life is in danger.
Kirkmeyer faces Democratic state Rep. Yadira Caraveo, a pediatrician and defender of abortion rights who voted for police accountability after the George Floyd protests. Caraveo hopes her cultural lineage as the child of Mexican immigrants will attract support in a swing district where Latinos comprise nearly 40% of voters. The district stretching north of Denver to include Greeley is a mix of rapid metro expansion and agriculture and sits on one of the nation’s top oil and natural gas producing fields.
Republican Erik Aadland, an oil and gas industry veteran, faces liberal state Sen. Brittany Pettersen in suburban Denver’s 7th district. The seat is being vacated by eight-term Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter. Aadland received backlash after a video leaked of him questioning the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Four-term Republican U.S. Rep. Ken Buck in eastern Colorado and eight-term Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn in El Paso County faced little opposition.
Among Democrats, Denver Rep. Diana Degette, seeking a 14th term, and Reps. Jason Crow and Joe Neguse were heavily favored.
Jesse Bedayn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
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