Colorado District 8: who’s in the race to represent the most competitive seat in the state?

· Feb. 14, 2022, 4:00 am
A ballot dropbox at Greeley City Hall. Oct. 24, 2021.A ballot dropbox at Greeley City Hall. Oct. 24, 2021.Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
A ballot dropbox at Greeley City Hall. Oct. 24, 2021.

Updated April 5, 2022

When Colorado was looking for a place to put its new congressional district, it quickly settled on the communities northeast of Denver. It makes sense — much of the population growth that helped earn Colorado an eighth seat in the U.S. House of Representatives has taken place in the booming suburbs of the northern Front Range.

The final district boundaries that the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission drew stretch from Thornton, Northglenn and Commerce City in the south, up through Brighton, Fort Lupton and Frederick, to include almost all of Greeley. Politically, it’s the state’s most evenly divided district. Unaffiliated voters make up 44 percent of active registered voters, while Democrats make up 28 percent and Republicans 25 percent. Averaging the outcome of eight recent races shows how narrow the divide truly is, with Democrats coming out with a negligible 1.3 percent advantage.

The district also has the highest proportion of Hispanic or Latino residents in the state; only 52 percent of residents described themselves as non-Hispanic white on the U.S. Census, while 38.8 percent of residents identify as Hispanic. 4.1 percent of the people living in the district are of Asian background and 2.3 percent are Black.

With control of the U.S House hanging in the balance, and no incumbent to throw the rest of the field in shadow, Colorado’s newest congressional district presents a rare opportunity for politically ambitious members of both parties or no party at all.

Here’s a list of people who are running for the seat:

Democrats

Yadira Caraveo — The state Representative from Thornton is in her second term in the Colorado House. A practicing pediatrician and daughter of Mexican immigrants, Caraveo has focused on health care policy, voting and reproductive rights during her time at the state house. She was the first Democrat to enter the race, before the new district lines were even official. Caraveo will be the only Democrat on the primary ballot, after winning more than 70 percent support through the assembly process.


Wondering how Colorado's 8th Congressional district was drawn? Here's how:


Republicans:

Lori Saine — Saine is serving her first term on the Weld County board of commissioners. The Dacono resident previously served in the state house of representatives, where she chaired the Legislative Audit Committee and served as the Republican House caucus chair. She also introduced legislation to broaden access to firearms and worked on reforming liability rules for condo construction. Saine has qualified for the ballot through the assembly process.

Barbara Kirkmeyer — Kirkmeyer is a first time  first-term state senator and joined the legislature after serving on the Weld County Board of Commissioners over the course of two decades. During her time on the board she was involved in a short-lived effort for Weld County to leave the state, and a more recent declaration that the county would not honor new state gun laws, and become “a Second Amendment sanctuary.” Kirkmeyer submitted enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Jann Kulmann — Kulmann is the current mayor of Thornton, a job she was elected to three years ago. Prior to that she served on the Thornton city council. She works as an engineer in the oil and gas industry and serves on the board of a local charter school. During her time on city council, Kulmann survived a recall attempt by residents upset that she wouldn’t support a local ban on oil and gas drilling. Kulmann collected signatures to qualify for the primary and was the first candidate to officially secure a spot on the ballot.

Tyler Allcorn — Allcorn is a former Green Beret who served four combat deployments. He now works for a company that helps members of the military find private sector employment after they leave the service. An immigrant whose family arrived in the United States for his father’s work, Allcorn was naturalized in 2010. Allcorn has also qualified for the primary ballot through the petition process.

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