Lauren Boebert’s controversial actions have a lot of candidates hoping to replace her in Colorado’s District 3. Who are they?

· Mar. 17, 2022, 4:00 am
210826-MESA-COUNTY-ELECTIONS-CLERK-RECORDER-DROP-BOX-SIGNS210826-MESA-COUNTY-ELECTIONS-CLERK-RECORDER-DROP-BOX-SIGNSHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Signs that direct voters to a ballot drop box outside the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder’s offices in Grand Junction on Thursday, August 26, 2021.

Updated April 12, 2022

A handful of Democrats and two Republicans are running in the CO-3 primary, hoping to challenge first-term Rep. Lauren Boebert, who has been a lightning rod for national controversy since her first days in office. 

From supporting objections to the certification of President Biden’s election, to Islamophobic comments about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, to heckling the president during the State of the Union, Boebert has raised her media profile, but not necessarily her legislative one. That’s helped her fundraising — she now has a lot of campaign money on hand — but none of the 26 bills she has introduced thus far have made much progress in the House.

While CO-3 has been represented by Republicans for the past decade, redistricting appears to have given the seat an even stronger GOP lean. The new map of CO-3 subtracts some bluer counties in the north and adds redder areas in southeastern Colorado

As the incumbent, Boebert will be tough to beat. But given that she herself beat an incumbent to get to Congress, tough does not mean impossible.

Here are the candidates running for the seat.


The Republicans

Lauren Boebert: The owner of a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, Boebert parlayed her support of the 2nd amendment, opposition to COVID-restrictions and a Trump-like social media presence into a successful run for Congress. A staunch Trump supporter, Boebert has made inroads with that wing of the Republican party. She co-chairs the 2nd amendment caucus and is communications chair for the House Freedom Caucus. Boebert announced her plans to seek reelection in December, saying, “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 qualified for the ballot through the assembly process.

Don Coram: Coram currently serves as a state Senator, representing the southwestern corner of Colorado. He previously spent five years in the state House. Coram is considered a relative moderate, who has worked on bipartisan legislation from expanding rural broadband to increasing access to contraception. When announcing his run, the Montrose resident said he wants to go to D.C. to bring back funds for Colorado and work with people on both sides of the aisle: “Why can't we just go (to Congress) and do the people's business, rather than promote sound bites and hate and division?” Coram submitted enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

A third candidate, Marina Zimmerman, a crane operator from the small town of Arboles in Archuleta County, attempted to make the ballot through the assembly process, but didn't get enough support.


The Democrats

Sol Sandoval: The daughter of immigrants from Mexico, Sandoval is a social worker and community organizer. In announcing her run last year, the Pueblo-based candidate said she is concerned about what she sees as Boebert’s lack of concern for the district. She says her goal is to increase opportunities for Coloradans, support water rights and public lands, work on immigration reform and reduce health care costs. Sandoval is the only candidate to qualify for the primary ballot through the assembly process.

Alex Walker: Walker also announced his entrance in the race in February with an intensely scatological viral video attacking Boebert. He describes himself as a politically moderate, queer, “engineering nerd.” He says he would work for nonpartisan solutions that make sense. He lives in Eagle County, but not within the new boundaries for CO-3. He qualified for the ballot via the signature process.

Adam Frisch: Frisch joined the race in February. He served two terms on the Aspen City Council and describes himself as a mainstream Democrat who supports small businesses, the environment, public education and affordable health care. Frisch says he will work to bring the people of the district together to make progress on rural issues in a bipartisan manner. He petitioned onto the ballot.

Scott Yates: Yates is a businessman and former writer; he has contributed to papers across Colorado and worked for former Gov. Bill Owens. The Pueblo resident says he’s running to improve people’s lives one hour at a time. His main issue is to end Daylight Saving Time. He has submitted petitions to qualify for the ballot, but they are still under review by the Secretary of State.

A number of Democratic candidates who hoped to qualify for the primary ballot through the assembly process came up short. They included state Rep. Donald Valdez, veterinarian Debby Burnett, former human services worker Kellie Rhodes, attorney Colin Wilhelm and Durango resident Root Routledge.

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