Crisanta Duran Announces Primary Challenge To Diana DeGette

Photo: 2019 Legislature Opens 4 HV 20190104
Outgoing state House Speaker Crisanta Duran prepares to hand over the gavel to KC Becker Friday Jan. 4, 2019.

Former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran is running for the U.S. House seat occupied by fellow Democrat Diana DeGette.

Duran said in a statement she’s running against a culture in which incumbents are “more concerned with their own re-election.”

DeGette is a 12-term incumbent representing Denver’s liberal 1st Congressional District. She serves on the House Natural Resources and Energy and Commerce committees.

“Whether it’s fighting to make health care more affordable or protecting a women’s right to choose, Rep. DeGette spends every day working hard for the people she represents,” Lisa Cohen, DeGette’s chief of staff, said in a statement Monday.

Cohen noted that DeGette will be heading hearings this week on the Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement program and a measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest.

“So, right now, she’s focused on doing her job — and will let the politics take care of itself,” Cohen said.

Duran had been considered a potential challenger to Cory Gardner, considered one of the nation’s most vulnerable Republican senators after Colorado voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Democrats swept statewide races in 2018.

Former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and former Sen. Mike Johnston are vying to challenge Gardner.