Grand Junction mayor jumps into congressional race to take on Lauren Boebert

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Mesa County is part of the 3rd Congressional District, in which incumbent Republican Lauren Boebert is in a race that’s too close to call against Democrat challenger Adam Frisch. Signs of support for her in and around Grand Junction, including here on Hwy. 50 south of the city, are hard to miss.

Updated at 7:50 p.m. on July 26, 2023.

Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout is jumping into the 3rd Congressional District race to try and unseat GOP incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert.

In a statement, Stout said she decided to run because Boebert “has repeatedly failed to represent our values in Congress, and her only accomplishment has been making a name for herself as a member of the most extreme faction of her party.”

Stout filed paperwork Wednesday to run in the Democratic primary and is expected to make an official announcement next Tuesday.

She touted her record as mayor. “I have a record of bringing people together to get things done and listening to the people I represent. I will take that same work ethic to Congress and build on my record of delivering real results for the hardworking people of our district.”

She’ll face the current frontrunner for the Democratic nod: Adam Frisch. Last year, Frisch came within 546 votes of defeating the hard-right and controversial Boebert. 

Frisch has been focused on a rematch with Boebert. He’s continuing to travel across the sprawling district and outraised Boebert in both fundraising quarters this year, including raising more than $2.6 million in the last fundraising filing. And the close race last year also helped boost his name recognition across the district.

Two other candidates have filed to run in the Democratic primary: Debby Burnett from Gunnison and Adam Withrow from Pueblo. A fourth primary candidate ended his short-lived campaign last month.

Frisch said voters in the district "want a serious representative" and he predicted they would choose him.

"I am confident that my proven track record of building consensus and offering common sense solutions puts us on track to win in November," Frisch said.

Stout currently serves as mayor of Grand Junction, where she’s developed a reputation as a moderate lawmaker. She was elected to the city council in 2019 for District C and ran unopposed for reelection in April. Grand Junction is the largest city in the district’s second-largest county, which could help Stout.

She is CEO of the Roice-Hurst Humane Society and founded a non-profit to facilitate the city’s “sister city” relationship with El Espino, El Salvador. She is a graduate of Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University). 

Last week, the Cook Political Report moved Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District race to “toss-up” status from Lean Republican because of Frisch’s huge fundraising haul and because Boebert has not moderated her image since her close call last November.

Delanie Bomar of the National Republican Congressional Committee forecast that whoever wins among Democrats will be in trouble in November.

"It doesn't matter who gets the Democrat nomination," Bomar said. "They will be left broke, bruised and unpalatable for general election voters."