State Rep. Yadira Caraveo, a Thornton Democrat and doctor who has been at the center of some of the most contentious policy debates at the legislature in recent years, announced her bid for Colorado’s new 8th Congressional District on Tuesday.
“My parents immigrated to Colorado from Mexico, and raised me and my siblings to work hard and to finish what we started,” Caraveo said in a written statement announcing her candidacy. “I’m running for Congress because I’m committed to the families I see every day as a pediatrician – families who work hard and are struggling to make ends meet.”
Caraveo is the first big-name Democrat or Republican to jump into the contest. Her entrance in the race comes despite the new district’s boundaries being unsettled.
Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission is still working to determine where the 8th District will be, but a preliminary map drawn by nonpartisan staff placed it in the northeast Denver metro area, where Caraveo lives, and stretching into southwest Weld County.
It may ultimately turn out that Caraveo isn’t in the 8th District at all, but congressional candidates don’t have to live in the district they represent. The next version of the state’s new congressional map is expected on Sept. 5.
Caraveo, 40, was first elected to the Colorado House in 2018. She would be the first Latina member of the state’s congressional delegation if voters send her to Washington, D.C.
State Sen. Faith Winter, a Westminster Democrat, endorsed Caraveo on Tuesday.
“Yadira will be a historic first as the first Latina Coloradan elected to Congress. As a pediatrician, she believes in science and is the leader we need,” said Winter, who was weighing a bid in Colorado’s 8th District herself but has since ruled it out.
If elected to Congress, Caraveo vowed to “take on tough fights and work with anyone to make sure the economic recovery reaches every part of our community, that families have access to quality affordable health care, and that our right to vote is protected.”
At the Colorado Capitol, Caraveo was a prime sponsor of Senate Bill 181 in 2019, a measure rewriting Colorado’s oil and gas regulations. She has also successfully backed legislation regulating cannabis concentrates, taxing nicotine and tobacco products, and granting sick leave to more employees.
A number of politicians are weighing bids in Colorado’s 8th District.
State Sen. Kevin Priola, a moderate Republican from Henderson, is among the potential GOP contenders for the new seat.
The outcome of the 8th District race could determine which party controls the U.S. House in 2023 as Democrats look to defend their slim majority.