Updated 9:07 p.m. on Wednesday December 27, 2023.
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert announced Wednesday night that she will run for a different congressional district next year.
The two-term representative said she will not seek reelection in the 3rd Congressional District, but rather will set her sights on the other side of the state: Colorado’s 4th Congressional District.
“Today I’m announcing my candidacy for the 2024 Republican nomination to represent Colorado’s 4th Congressional District,” she said in a Facebook video. “It’s the right move for me personally and it’s the right decision for those who support our conservative movement.”
She said she didn’t come to the decision easily. “A lot of prayer, a lot of tough conversations, and a lot of perspective have convinced me this is the best way I can continue to fight for Colorado,” Boebert said.
Boebert said she would be moving to the 4th District in the coming year, while still representing the Western Slope and Southern Colorado for the remainder of her term.
Under federal law, a representative does not have to live within the boundaries of their district.
The hard right conservative was one of the holdouts last January who tried to deny Kevin McCarthy the speakership. She also tried to force an impeachment vote against President Joe Biden this spring, which Republican leadership killed by sending it to committees. She also faced her own scandal in the fall, when her behavior got her and her date kicked out of a performance of the musical Beetlejuice.
In her message, Boebert also alluded to the tough reelection race ahead of her in her current district.
“I will not allow dark money that is directed at destroying me personally to steal this seat,” Boebert said in her announcement. “It’s not fair to the 3rd district and the conservatives there who have fought so hard for our victories.”
Boebert narrowly won reelection in the 2022 midterms when she beat Democrat Adam Frisch by just 546 votes in the 3rd district, which has a +9 Republican lean. It was the closest finish in a congressional race last year. Frisch, who is running again, has been outraising Boebert this cycle and Democrats had already made her seat a major pick up target for 2024.
The Cook Political Report rated Boebert’s race a toss-up this summer, in light of Frisch’s strong fundraising and the fact that she has not moderated her image after her close call last fall. The race moved to “Lean Republican” after Boebert’s announcement Wednesday.
With Boebert out of the race in the 3rd, it will likely be a tougher match for whichever Democrat wins the nomination.
Still, in a statement, Frisch remained positive about his chances. “From Day 1 of this race, I have been squarely focused on defending rural Colorado’s way of life, offering common sense solutions to the problems facing the families of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. My focus remains the same.”
Boebert also faced a strong Republican primary challenger in her current district. Jeff Hurd has received some significant endorsements and was on pace with Boebert’s fundraising after joining the race in mid-August.
"We have the support of elected and previously elected Republicans all over the state and the district, and I will fight every day to ensure this seat stays in Republican hands," Hurd said in a statement Wednesday.
Boebert’s announcement also shakes up the race for congressional district 4.
The 4th district is a solidly red seat, with a +26 Republican lean. But while it encompasses most of the Eastern Plains, the district’s population centers are along the Front Range, including suburban cities like Highlands Ranch and Castle Rock.
The seat is currently held by GOP Rep. Ken Buck, who announced he plans to retire after this term is up.
“Colorado’s 4th district is hungry for an unapologetic defender of freedom, with a proven track record of standing strong for conservative principles,” Boebert said in her announcement.
A number of Republicans who currently live in the district have already entered the primary for that seat, including Deborah Flora, Ted Harvey and Richard Holtorf.
Holtorf, a state lawmaker who lives in Washington County on the Eastern Plains, panned Boebert's decision, saying she's "carpetbagging."
"Seat shopping isn't something the voters look kindly upon. If you can't win in your home, you can't win here," he said in a statement.
You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up. The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!