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SEAT SHAKEUP

Boebert’s departure turns GOP nomination on its head


Lauren Boebert Colorado at the podium

By CHARLES ASHBY

Needless to say, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s decision to run for the Republican nomination in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District dramatically alters the landscape in the 3rd District.

As a result, Republicans who backed Boebert’s main challenger, Grand Junction attorney Jeff Hurd, say he now has a better chance of keeping the expansive district in GOP hands, one that favors Republican candidates by about 9 percentage points.

Whoever wins the GOP nomination in the June primary, however, still would have to face a Democrat, including former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch, who not only was pulling in more campaign donations over Boebert by a 4-1 margin, but also is someone who narrowly lost to Boebert in her first reelection bid by a mere 546 votes last year.

Even though Hurd is widely considered the front-runner in that GOP primary, he still has to win the nomination over two others: Russ Andrews of Glenwood Springs and Curtis McCrackin of Delta.

“My campaign is focused on restoring trust and accountability in our federal government,” McCrackin said. “As the field of candidates narrows, I am looking forward to a spirited campaign approaching the June primary.”

Of the three, Hurd has received more endorsements from Republicans who dumped Boebert because of fears she couldn’t win in the general election, and far more campaign money.

In his first campaign finance filing with the Federal Election Commission, Hurd pulled in more than $412,000 in his first month on the campaign trail. Boebert raised twice as much in the third quarter, but only has about $1.4 million in cash on hand, money she can use in her new bid. It is unknown if her donors will want their money back.

Andrews has more than $311,000 in total receipts in his coffers, but $261,255 was in a loan he made to his own campaign. McCrackin entered the race in September, and has not yet made his first campaign filing.

“In the 3rd Congressional District, it’s now a race between a problem solver, political outsider and engineer Russ Andrews against hand-picked Jeff Hurd,” Andrews’ campaign said in a statement.

“This ‘Republican,’ who has been backed by old guard political insiders, has also failed to sign the Colorado Republicans 3rd Congressional District Unity Pledge, which was crafted by Andrews,” the campaign added. “Now more than ever it is important to unite behind a candidate who will represent our district’s priorities and values, not someone who will turn his back because his endorsers have guided him to do so.”

Since Hurd, who could not be reached for comment, entered the race in August, he has gained more than two dozen high-profile endorsements, some from people who long backed Boebert in her reelection bid last year.

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