Voters guide for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District primary

San Luis Valley.

After the 2022 contest for this seat came down to a razor-thin 546 votes, it was always expected that this year’s race would be a hot one.

But the contest was thrown a major curveball late last year when incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert surprised the political world by announcing she would seek a different seat — swapping the district she represented for two terms for a shot at a more Republican-friendly one on the other side of the state.

Boebert had already attracted several primary challengers and her exit from the race brought in many more. The result is an unusually long Republican primary ballot, with six candidates contending to take on the sole Democrat in the race, Adam Frisch.

The Third District is Colorado’s largest, covering the entire western side of the state and stretching east across the San Luis Valley to include the southern portion of the I-25 corridor. Its population centers include Pueblo, Grand Junction, Montrose, Durango and Alamosa. 

When the state’s redistricting commission drew up the district in 2021, they calculated Republicans would have a nine-point advantage in winning it. However, the 2022 results show that the political reality on the ground can be a lot more volatile than what’s on paper.

For our voter guide, CPR reporters spoke with candidates, reviewed their websites and watched forums and debates. Top issues were determined by the results of the Voter Voices survey to understand what Coloradans care about in this election. Republican candidates responded to the top concerns of self-identified conservative and moderate voters. Democrats responded to the top issues for self-identified liberal and moderate voters.

A map showing Colorado's eight congressional districts.

Republican primary candidates

Democratic candidate