PUEBLO, Colo. (KDVR) – Three Democrats have filed federal paperwork and are running to unseat Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s Third Congressional District.
The Democrats are state Sen. Kerry Donovan, defense attorney Colin Wilhelm, and Marine and businessman Gregg Smith.
Boebert was out-raised and outspent in 2020, but the ardent Second Amendment supporter from Silt still won the race by six points after beating a 10-year incumbent in the Republican primary.
Currently, she’s pushing to open the economy right away without the current COVID-19 relief bill Democrats have proposed.
“I urge my colleagues to get real and scrap this pipe dream,” Boebert said on the House floor this week. “When the American people need their representatives to put aside partisan politics, my colleagues on the other side put forth this boondoggle proposal.”
The Democrats who are running to challenge Boebert strongly disagree with that statement.
“I just don’t think trying to pay your rent is a pipe dream,” Donovan said. “I don’t think that trying to vaccinate every corner of this state should be described as a boondoggle.”
Donovan has been a state senator for six years and has also worked as an educator and rancher.
“We need a complete recovery from COVID,” she said. “We need to rebuild our economy stronger than it was before. And, of course, we have really important regional issues like drought.”
Wilhelm, who lives in Glenwood Springs and ran for state office before, is hoping to jumpstart his campaign by driving around the nearly 50,000-square-mile district and listening to people.
He hopes to get to D.C. and “figure out ways to get through this economic hardship that we’re dealing with (and) figure out ways to keep jobs we have, but also create new jobs,” Wilhelm said. “And figure out ways to tackle health care and mental health care.”
Smith is known inside the Washington area, in part, for his work with the controversial Blackwater security group. Now he and his family live in Westcliffe, west of Pueblo. Smith said he decided to run for office because of the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“When I look at what’s going on with the COVID relief bill, it’s an absolute travesty that we’re fighting over $1,400 for families that are really hurting, when frankly, we should be cutting monthly checks to those families, probably $1,200 a month,” Smith said.
Due to population growth, Colorado will gain another congressional district and districts will be redrawn before the election. But it won’t necessarily affect this race. Representatives don’t have to live in the district they represent, just the state.
Boebert is already raising money for the 2022 race. She declined an interview request for this story.
Meanwhile, the Colorado GOP is already talking about the race and released this statement about Donovan:
“Kerry Donovan is simply a knockoff version of Elizabeth Warren, the candidate she endorsed for president. Donovan’s support for Warren and her far-left policies would guarantee that hardworking families would see their taxes increase and ensure the Democrat’s anti-energy, job destroying Green New Deal would finally become law.
“We look forward to beating Senator Donovan in the general election, if she manages to get that far.”