Boebert’s political headaches grow as she bids for re-election

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Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) finds herself in a political bind now that Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), whose seat she’s seeking to fill in November, is leaving Congress early.

Observers say Boebert is at a disadvantage because the special election to serve out the remainder of Buck’s term is being held on the same day as the primary for the full term, a move Donald Trump’s divisive ally said had as a specific objective to harm it. .

Boebert, who already nearly lost reelection once in her current district, must now navigate even more complicated political terrain in hopes of remaining in Congress, and some Colorado Republicans argue she faces an uphill battle.

“This is like asking people to split the ballot but on steroids,” said Republican political analyst Kelly Maher.

“When you look at ticket dividers, it’s usually not the same name twice, right?” Maher added, referring to the fact that whoever runs to fill Buck’s seat anytime soon will likely also be on the ballot in the race for the full term.

“You’re asking people to vote for a different party on the ballot. But she must defend that a completely different person should be voted for on the ballot while the same name appears twice. “That’s going to be crazy.”

Boebert, who currently resides in Colorado’s western 3rd congressional district, is fighting to keep her congressional career alive after announcing late last year that she would switch districts and run for Buck’s seat in the eastern 4th district. from Colorado.

Buck announced Tuesday that he would be leaving Congress earlier than expected, at the end of next week.

That triggered a special election to fill the remainder of Buck’s seat, which Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) set for June 25, the same day as the primary.

Boebert opted not to run in the special election, which would have forced her to vacate her current seat, citing in part the GOP’s already slim majority in the House of Representatives.

Each party will select its candidate to compete in the special election; Since the district leans heavily Republican, any Republican candidate chosen for the special is considered the heavy favorite to complete the remainder of Buck’s term.

Boebert criticized Buck’s decision as “a gift to the Uniparty” and alleged that “the establishment concocted a swampy backroom deal to try to rig an election that I’m winning by 25 points.”

Although party members agree that Boebert had no room to abandon her House seat to try to compete in the special election (which would have triggered yet another special election and given Democrats a chance to win her current seat), some say Boebert still faces an unenviable situation.

“Essentially, what Lauren will ask voters to do is vote for someone else in the special election, but then against that same person in the primary and vote for them instead. And that’s definitely a bigger boost,” said Republican strategist Ryan Lynch.

Boebert entered Congress for the first time in 2021, defeating former Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) in the Republican primary. Last cycle, however, he barely won his Republican-leaning district in a race against Democrat Adam Frisch, in one of the biggest upsets of the midterms.

Frisch is running again for Boebert’s seat and has already raised tons of money. Amid concerns that she could lose to him this time, the congresswoman opted to change districts. She framed her decision to run in the 4th District as a “new beginning” after finalizing her divorce from her ex-husband Jayson Boebert.

Boebert has faced a series of damaging headlines in recent months, including her expulsion from a “Beetlejuice” musical in Denver after footage captured her apparently vaping and acting disruptively, and several disputes between her and her husband. which ultimately led to her receiving a temporary suspension. restraining order against her. She asked for that temporary restraining order to be lifted this week.

At the same time, Boebert has the coveted endorsement of former President Trump and a clear financial advantage over her opponents.

The last federal campaign filing, from the fourth quarter of last year, showed Boebert raised $540,000 and entered this year with about $1.3 million in cash on hand. Former state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg (R), considered one of his most formidable opponents, raised $154,000 last quarter and had nearly $151,000 in cash on hand. Businessman Peter Yu had $254,000 in cash on hand, including a $250,000 personal loan.

The ad tracking company AdImpact noted in Xthe platform formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday that Boebert made her first traditional ad buy of the race.

“What I will say is that we are going to continue and make it very clear that the congresswoman seeks to gain the support of Republican primary voters on the 25th. [of June]. “She has a proven conservative record,” said Drew Sexton, Boebert’s campaign manager.

Sexton also downplayed recent headlines about the congresswoman, arguing that those events do not define her record in Congress. Sexton mentioned that she has been calling district delegates and participating in dozens of Lincoln Day forums, events and dinners.

“One event doesn’t erase four years of being an absolutely staunch conservative on all issues when it comes to voting for Colorado and, for that matter, the American people, and I think people understand that. His work has not slowed down,” Sexton said, noting that his People’s Jobs Act was signed into law as part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Some Republicans believe that while the special election offers an advantage to the Republican candidate, that person will not be a safe choice either.

Dick Wadhams, former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, suggested that “there will be some advantage” to whoever is selected as the nominee, but added that he “wouldn’t exaggerate.”

Boebert is not only seeking to convince Republicans that she has changed and still deserves their vote; she also has the arduous task of convincing them that they should elect her in a completely new district. During a Republican primary debate in January, some of her challengers called her “adventurous.”

Larry Forgey, chairman of the Baca County Republican Party, said the sentiment he heard within his county about Boebert seems divided.

“I’m glad Lauren Boebert was there. She has a good record and that counts for a lot,” said Forgey, whose county is in the southeast corner of the state.

“I’m in the middle because I want someone who will stand up, support, defend and keep the Constitution intact. And she’s been doing that. Now I appreciate it,” she said.

“I think there are a couple of candidates who will also do the same thing, but I’d rather commit to that than anything else,” he added. “But at the same time, I want them to know who we are.”

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