As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, a previously unknown but as we’ll discuss fairly interesting Republican candidate, attorney Jeffery Hurd, has announced a primary challenge to vulnerable incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert:
“I’ve decided to enter the race to give Republican primary voters an option and a choice,” said Hurd, who describes himself as a principled conservative who believes in limited government, individual rights and the rule of law.
“But I’m also pragmatic,” he added. “I understand that in order to advance those principles we need to advance a message that is optimistic and persuasive and that encourages voters who may not agree with everything that a candidate stands for, but will nevertheless pull the lever and vote for that candidate.”
Hurd, a graduate of Grand Junction High School who went on to become an attorney in town, knows that he has a steep hill to climb to persuade Republican voters to pick him over the incumbent Boebert, who is extremely well known by many voters in the expansive district.
Although Jeffery Hurd has no political experience, as a manager at the prestigious Ireland Stapleton law firm he’s certainly a cut above the average unknown contender who appears out of nowhere to run for high office (see: Boebert, Lauren). What’s more, Hurd’s campaign chairs are none other than former U.S. Senator Hank Brown and former Colorado Rep. Tim Foster, who recently retired as President of Colorado Mesa University.
That Foster is chairing the campaign of this unknown challenger to Rep. Boebert is particularly interesting since Foster has himself long been considered one of the prime GOP alternatives to Boebert–either as a primary challenger, or “batting cleanup” in two years after Boebert narrowly loses the seat to a Democratic opponent.
There’s little question that Tim Foster with his superior name recognition and experience would be a stronger primary challenger to Boebert than the unknown Hurd. For Foster to step aside for this complete neophyte, however sharp a young lawyer he may be, betrays a lack of confidence that Boebert can be defeated in a Republican primary challenge. Foster doesn’t want to risk his own political capital by taking on Boebert personally, but the lack of any credible challenger to Boebert from Republicans forces them to own her self-injurious antics.
The solution? A primary placeholder willing to honorably take the fall.
Which is not to say that in the event Hurd were to prevail over Boebert he wouldn’t enjoy the full support of the Republican Party. Certainly he would. But the huge margin by which Boebert defeated her 2022 GOP primary opponent shows that Boebert’s greater vulnerability is in the general election. As much as Tim Foster and the corporate wing of the Colorado GOP would like to be rid of Boebert, GOP primary voters adore her.
We wish Mr. Hurd well, but the plan still appears to be for Democrats to do the dirty work of ousting Boebert.