Incoming Fire: Lori Saine Jumps Into CD-8 Race

Rep. Lori Saine (R), in custody after being caught with a loaded gun at DIA in December of 2017.

As the Colorado Sun’s Sandra Fish reports, the Republican primary for the brand-new Eighth Congressional District is kicking off with a literal bang as “Pistol-Packin'” former state Rep.-turned Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine files to run in Colorado’s–and maybe 2022’s–most competitive congressional race:

Saine, who filed paperwork Tuesday to launch her campaign, is the first high-profile Republican to formally jump into the race to represent the district, which stretches from the north Denver suburbs to Greeley.

The district is 39% Hispanic and is expected to be one of the most competitive contests in the country in 2022. Democrats will have a 1.3 percentage point advantage in the district, according to an analysis by nonpartisan legislative staff of the results of eight statewide races between 2016 and 2020…

Saine, who was elected to the Weld County commission in 2020, is known as a conservative firebrand.

As a departing lawmaker, Saine convened a December 2020 hearing on election integrity that one Democratic leader called a “dangerous stunt.” The hearing resulted in no evidence of fraud.

During Rep. Saine’s four terms serving in the Colorado House, Saine helped anchor the far-right Republican minority supported by locally powerful gun-rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and politically loyal to now-ousted House Minority Leader Patrick Neville. Saine courted controversy as far back as 2013 much the way Rep. Lauren Boebert and other more recent Republican outrage machines have made routine today, memorably being chased through the Capitol by reporters with a box of fried chicken at the tail end of a controversy that began with fellow hard-right Sen. Vicki Marble’s giving an in-committee lecture about “the black diet.”

In 2017, Rep. Saine was caught trying to pass through security at Denver International Airport with a loaded pistol–a mistake that earned Saine a mugshot in the permanent record, but in the end no criminal charges. Saine came out blasting the following month, introducing legislation to weaken Colorado gun laws like nothing had happened. Saine was a reliable co-sponsor of many of the worst dead-on-arrival Republican “message bills” like felony abortion bans, and never missed a chance to mangle history in the most offensive way conceivable during tributes and debates on the House floor.

But if you’re thinking all of this baggage hurts Lori Saine, at least to the horizon of the Republican primary these are assets more than they are weaknesses. Not just a creature of the RMGO machine, Saine has served for years in various roles with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)–and through that organization may well have developed relationships that could be advantageous in a primary. Saine’s first few fundraising reports will tell us to what extent that experience is being capitalized on.

There’s going to be a spirited Republican primary, and love her or hate her, you can’t count Lori Saine out.

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MartinMark says:

    Lemme guess…. she claimed that she "forgot" she had the gun when she went to the airport.  That doesn't say much for her safe gun handling practices.  Remind me not to use her for a babysitter.

    Anyway… is it too late to let Weld County secede?

  2. gertie97 says:

    She and Boobert would be quite the pair to draw to.


  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    Excellent. If she runs against Priola one-on-one, she wins. If another screwball or two join in, Priola can pull off a win with 35-40%.

    Given how difficult '22 is going to be for Dems, our only chance of taking CD8 may be with Saine as the GOP candidate.

  4. Genghis says:

    I still lol every time that photo shows up.

  5. rcadmaven says:

    Lori InSaine should be disqualified for being mentally unstable. So should all that buy into Trump's Big Lie. Face it folks: if you try to change the outcome, and every time it comes back the same, that's the definition of insanity.

  6. ElliotFladen says:

    Disagree with Lori on issues or associates if you want, but putting that picture up is immature. 

  7. kwtree says:

    I ran this race by my daughter’s family in Thornton – young millenials in their first, upside-down mortgaged home.  First, they had no idea that they were in a new Congressional district.

    Second, Doctor Caraveo will have some ‘splainin’ to do on the cannabis  edibles restriction measure she sponsored. Keeping under-21s from buying too much concentrated cannabis is OK, because “Those kids are idiots”, quoth my daughter.

    But if some of the other language in the bill becomes law ( pending results of the funded research study), particularly those making it harder to obtain a medical marijuana license, and that language adding additional tracking to purchasers of pot, Dr. C will lose the support of a large group of cannabis users in CD8. 

    Third, it will be immensely entertaining to watch Lori Saine, proponent of unrestricted gun use, try to attack Dr C on  tightening cannabis laws. Love to see a gunhead make the civil liberties argument for cannabis.

    What I’d like to see debated: 

    CD8 will be the “environmental injustice”  district. It is made up of poor people and people of color who are breathing methane, carcinogens, and all manner of pollution from oil and gas extraction. The air is always smoky and hazy. The parks and lakes are basically settling ponds for toxic waste. My grandson at 6 months old has a smoker’s cough. 3 of its areas ( Derby, Commerce City, and Weld County / Greeley) have some of the worst air quality in Colorado. 

    Lori Saine is an advocate for oil and gas, and wants the least regulation possible. I would hope that Yadira Caraveo, as a pediatrician, would advocate for the lungs and brains of the children in her chosen district. It will come down to a battle for who pays for the external costs of fossil fuel development- those who profit from it, or the babies who breathe it.


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