This morning, Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer of Weld County announced her bid for Congress in brand-spanking-new CD-8, set to be one of the most closely divided and watched new congressional contests in the 2022 midterm elections nationwide. Kirkmeyer opens a GOP primary matchup against former state Rep. Lori Saine, with state Sen. Kevin Priola considering an uphill “RiNO” bid against the conservative tide in today’s Republican Party.
Be assured that Kirkmeyer is running in CD-8, despite what her Twitter profile says:
Oops! You can’t blame Kirkmeyer for recycling her assets from her failed 2014 run for Congress in a much more conservative CD-4, but ready-for-primetime campaigns are supposed to fix these things before the local political blog is forced to do their quality assurance checking. Since we’re not paid by the campaign, we have no obligation to be nice about pointing out obvious mistakes.
Although Sen. Kirkmeyer is being billed as a more viable alternative to hard-charging conservative Lori Saine, it’s a label that might not work for Kirkmeyer in the general election–and that’s assuming she can prevail in the Republican primary where “viability” is a highly subjective standard at best. Kirkmeyer has long labored to appease the far-right Republican base in Weld County, including as a major proponent of the ill-fated campaign by a group of mostly-rural northeastern Colorado counties to secede from the state and form “North Colorado.”
Generally speaking, swing voters prefer candidates who want to serve their state and not secede from it.
There’s every reason to believe that Kirkmeyer will be competitive in the Republican primary–but the more Kirkmeyer does to prove her conservative mettle against an opponent with no such requirement, the more she’ll damage her prospects in the general election. At the same time, Kirkmeyer is stymied in any run to the center by her own record as a product of Weld County’s wacky Republican politics.
Not a good fit for what could be one of America’s swingiest swing districts in 2022.