Rep. Lauren Boebert wins primary after switching Colorado districts

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Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) has won the Republican primary for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District after deciding not to seek reelection in her current, more competitive district, according to an Associated Press projection.

Boebert, a firebrand conservative closely aligned with former president Donald Trump, chose to leave the 3rd District after surviving a closer-than-expected race there in 2022. The gamble paid off Tuesday as she defeated five other Republicans in the 4th District, which is safer territory for Republicans in November.

The seat in the 4th District, which covers much of Colorado’s eastern half, was vacant after Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) resigned in March. There was also a special election Tuesday to finish Buck’s term, but Boebert chose not to run in it, and the Republican nominee, Greg Lopez, did not run against Boebert for a full term.

Despite the new district — her old district covered the other side of the state — Boebert brought some notable advantages to the primary. She had Trump’s endorsement and led the field in fundraising since April 1, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Boebert’s primary opponents included Republicans with stronger ties to the district. One was Jerry Sonnenberg, a Logan County commissioner who narrowly lost the GOP nomination for the special election.

Boebert celebrated the win in a social media post, saying, “This victory belongs to the faithful voters of Colorado’s 4th district.”

Boebert has stirred controversy since her first election to Congress in 2020. She has aligned herself with pro-Trump troublemakers in the House and weathered several personal scandals, including an incident last year in which she was kicked out of a Denver theater.

Democrat Adam Frisch, a former Aspen City Council member, came within 600 votes of unseating Boebert two years ago and is running again in the 3rd District.

Frisch ran unopposed in his primary Tuesday, but he waged a serious effort to influence the Republican primary with Boebert no longer running. Frisch and an outside group ran ads that appeared designed to elevate one of the GOP candidates, Ron Hanks, with his primary voters.

Hanks is a former state representative who has echoed Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen and attended the rally that preceded the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Despite the interference, Hanks finished a distant second, losing to attorney Jeff Hurd.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, the top GOP super PAC focused on House races, spent more than $400,000 to make sure Hanks would not be the nominee.

“Democrats tried every dirty trick in the book to meddle in this race and advance their preferred candidate into the fall,” CLF’s president, Dan Conston, said in a statement, adding that Hurd’s nomination “ensures this seat will stay red in November.”

In the special election to finish Buck’s term, Lopez — the former mayor of Parker, Colo. — was projected to easily defeat Democrat Trisha Calvarese, a former speechwriter, according to the AP.

In other Colorado primaries, state Rep. Gabe Evans is projected to win the GOP nomination in the 8th District to challenge Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D) in her toss-up Denver-area district, according to the Associated Press. Evans had the support of Trump, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Americans for Prosperity, the conservative group that worked against Trump in this year’s presidential primary. Evans’s primary opponent was Janek Joshi, a former state representative who was backed by the Colorado GOP.

Caraveo wasted little time drawing a contrast for the general election, with her campaign issuing a news release that called Evans an “inexperienced Trump-endorsed state legislator with a history of caving to the most extreme elements of his party.”

In Colorado’s 5th Congressional District, Republicans picked conservative commentator Jeff Crank to replace retiring Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) in his Colorado Springs-based district, according to AP’s projection. Crank, who had Johnson’s support, defeated the controversial state GOP chair, Dave Williams, who had Trump’s endorsement. The district favors the GOP in the November election.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post