GOP Weld County commissioner Lori Saine is running in Colorado’s new congressional district

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Lori Saine sits in the Colorado House of Representatives on April 19, 2019. Saine used to represent District 63 and currently serves as a Weld County commissioner.

Former state lawmaker and current Republican Weld County commissioner Lori Saine has officially announced her bid for Colorado’s new 8th congressional district

Saine filed her paperwork earlier this week before kicking off her campaign on Thursday. She joins a growing field of candidates from both political parties vying for the open — and likely high competitive — seat. The new district includes the northern Democratic suburbs, rural communities and goes into conservative Weld county.

“People are scared across the board,” said Saine about what motivated her to run for Congress. “Inflation is a silent killer of our stability and progress.”

Saine told CPR News that when she knocks on doors in the region, people tell her they are concerned about the national debt, crime and the lack of workers.

During her eight years in the Colorado House, Saine was the chair of the audit committee and served in leadership as the Republican caucus chair. She was known as a strong advocate for second amendment rights and sponsored legislation to repeal Colorado’s ban on large capacity magazines, which failed multiple times. 

Saine also touted times she crossed the aisle to work on things like construction defects reform and legislation to make it easier for foster children to obtain a driver’s license. She’s recently been involved with efforts to restore the former black settlement of Dearfield, Colorado.

Colorado independent redistricting commission
The final congressional redistricting map submitted by Colorado's independent redistricting commission.

Her time at the legislature also came with some controversies, though. She was stopped for trying to carry a loaded firearm through security at DIA — Saine said she’d forgotten it was in her purse and the district attorney decided not to bring charges. She was also criticized for remarks that inaccurately downplayed violence against African Americans after the Civil War.

Republicans Ryan Gonzalez and Giulianna "Jewels" Gray, are already in the race, and several current legislators are also mulling a run. 

State Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer said she has been overwhelmed by people urging her to announce a bid.

“I’m listening to these voters and will have an announcement soon now that the court approved the district boundaries,” she wrote in a text message.

On the Democratic side, statehouse Rep. Yadira Caraveo and Adams County Commissioner Chaz Tedesco have announced their bids. 

Colorado’s 8th CD was created under the latest round of redistricting due to the state’s population growth. Recent election results suggest it will be Colorado’s most competitive district, giving either party a chance to win it.