One year into her first term, Western Slope Rep. Lauren Boebert is ready to try for a second.
The congresswoman announced her reelection bid at a Friday press conference in Grand Junction in which she took aim at the Biden administration’s Build Back Better proposal and handling of the southern border.
“We don’t just need to take the House back in 2022, but we need to take the House back with fearless conservatives, strong Republicans, just like me,” Boebert said.
Boebert noted that she introduced 24 bills in her first year. So far none has gone anywhere in the House, something she blamed on majority Democrats. Many of her bills focus on defunding or doing away with policies of the Biden administration, such as the President’s 30 x 30 public lands plan or federal funding for funerals for COVID victims. In the fall, she introduced resolutions to impeach Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris over the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“I would really like to see a Republican majority in the house and in the Senate. So we could work towards that,” she said. “But also, if we were to get a large enough majority in the Senate, then maybe we would have an opportunity to override vetoes and actually pass good legislation.”
Though Republicans are expected to do well in the midterm election, few expect them to reach the two-thirds majority in both chambers that would allow for party-line veto overrides.
Boebert, who sits on the House Natural Resources Committee, has also authored a number of bills about Western resource issues, including a bill to try to reduce the risk of wildfires on federal land. She has also been a vocal critic of the Interior Department’s decision to return the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters to Washington, DC from Grand Junction. In recent weeks, she has attacked Colorado’s Democratic senators, Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, for not doing more, in her view, to try to keep the headquarters in Colorado.
At the press conference, Boebert took credit for helping remove two public lands bills Democratic members of Colorado’s delegation managed to attach to the National Defense Authorization Act.
“If the Democrats had it their way, they would've locked up 760,000 more acres of Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, which would've made it much more difficult for us to manage our forest responsibly as well as prevented multiple use on these public lands.
Boebert’s first year has been marked with controversy, from joining with other Republicans to try to prevent the certification of the election for Biden, to using Islamophic language against a Democratic colleague.
When asked about those comments, Boebert said, “I'm not really too worried about hurting (Democrats’) feelings. I think we see this a lot with Republicans. Republicans are always hit with this when they are trying to stick up for their principles.”
Boebert’s controversial words and actions — and the national profile they’ve earned her — have helped her amass a significant war chest, which on top of her incumbency, may give her an edge going into the midterms. She raised $2.45 million over the first three quarters of 2021.
She does however have a possible primary challenger; Marina Zimmerman, a former construction business owner, has said she wants to “reboot” the GOP. Her supporters have been urging unaffiliated voters unhappy with Boebert to vote for Zimmerman in Colorado’s open primary. The process to get on the Republican ballot begins in the new year.
GOP State Sen. Don Coram is also considering challenging Boebert. In contrast to the current congresswoman, Coram is one of the few state politicians in Colorado who doesn’t maintain a Twitter account.
When it comes to the Democrats who hope to run against Boebert, the field got a major shake up this fall, thanks to redistricting. State Sen. Kerry Donovan had the highest profile and best fundraising numbers against Boebert, until the new Congressional map drew her Vail Valley home out of the third district.
The remaining Democrats in the race include Pueblo-based community activist Sol Sandoval, and state Rep. Donald Valdez from the San Luis Valley, both of whom have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
On Friday, neither used their social media accounts to comment on Boebert’s reelection announcement, instead posting about the Marshall fire and the passing of Betty White.
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