State Sen. Don Coram, a Republican from Montrose, says he will launch a primary bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert this year.
Coram told a group of constituents in Montrose on Wednesday morning “the papers have been filed” for his congressional bid. He said he plans to formally announce his campaign on Friday.
The Colorado Sun first reported in December that Coram was considering whether to launch a primary challenge to Boebert. Coram is considered a moderate Republican while Boebert is aligned with the party’s far right wing.
“If you’re not willing to reach out and talk to someone that has a different political persuasion than you do and just pound your fist and say ‘this is how it is,’ it’s not going to work,” Coram said during the event. “We are so polarized and so divided with no intentions at this time of changing that.”
Coram added: “I’ve been criticized because I have too many Democrat friends.”
Coram can’t run for reelection to his statehouse seat because he was drawn into the same district as Republican Sen. Bob Rankin, of Carbondale, in the fall, during the once-a-decade redistricting process. Since Rankin’s term doesn’t end until January 2025, Rankin will keep the seat.
Coram’s only options to stay in the legislature were to run for a House seat or move into a new Senate district.
Boebert’s 3rd District, which spans across western Colorado into Pueblo, leans heavily in Republicans’ favor, meaning it would be difficult for a Democrat to dislodge the controversial first-term congresswoman. Boebert, an ally of former President Donald Trump, has been under heavy scrutiny in recent weeks after a video surfaced of her making anti-Muslim remarks.
A primary challenge to Boebert will also likely be difficult. The congresswoman is popular within the Colorado GOP and had more than $1.7 million in her campaign account heading into October.
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Boebert, who lives in Garfield County, formally announced her reelection bid last week during a news conference in Grand Junction.
“I think that the voters here in the 3rd District are happy to have someone who is actually taking a stand and saying a lot of the things that they would like to say,” she said. “I ran as a conservative, I won as a conservative and I vote as a conservative because I am a conservative.”
There’s already another Republican running against Boebert next year: Marina Zimmerman, who lives near Durango. Zimmerman, however, is a political newcomer who hasn’t proved the ability to fundraise or significantly boost her name recognition. Both will be crucial in a bid to unseat Boebert.