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September 06, 2023 4:03 pm MST

"Gabbin' Gabe" Evans Mansplains Into CD-8 GOP Primary

  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Gabe Evans (R) having a sad with the Colorado House GOP micro-minority last May.

As the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports, freshman Republican state Rep. Gabe Evans of Fort Lupton is the latest to throw his hat in the ring to challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo in Colorado’s ultra-swing CD-8–hoping in the process that his hat doesn’t immediately get shredded by the Colorado Republican Party’s recent lurch to the hard right, and an intra-party purity testing regime his predecessors did not face:

The state lawmaker is the second Republican to announce a 2024 bid to dislodge Caraveo. Evans will face Weld County Commissioner Scott James in the GOP primary.

Caraveo, who lives in Thornton, beat Republican state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer by less than a percentage point, or roughly 1,600 votes, in 2022.

National Republicans say the 8th District, which was formed during Colorado’s 2021 redistricting process and spans the northeast Denver suburbs into Greeley, is one of their top 2024 targets. Democrats also plan to direct resources to the district to defend Caraveo.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) warmly welcomed Evans to the CD-8 race, turning without hesitation to Evans’ record, albeit only for a single session, in the Colorado House GOP’s micro-minority caucus. As our readers know intimately from watching them in action, the reactionary antics of Colorado’s least influential legislative caucus gave Democrats plenty to work with against any of their number seeking higher office:

Gabe Evans is jumping into the race for Colorado’s 8th Congressional District and bringing his extreme anti-abortion agenda with him. Evans supports banning abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest, putting him far out of step with Coloradans…

“This Republican primary is shaping up to be a race to the far right on abortion. Both Gabe Evans and Scott James are pushing extreme anti-abortion agendas that couldn’t be more out of touch with what Coloradans want. Make no mistake – either of these Republican candidates would be a guaranteed vote for a national abortion ban in Congress.”

As an oppositional minority uninterested in brokering compromise or even pretending to be reasonable, the House GOP minority was free to take truly radical positions on a wide range of issues from abortion rights to gun safety. The DCCC hasn’t even scratched the surface of that record, kicking off with abortion rights as just the first of a long list of issues on which Evans is vulnerable. Evans’ loquacious car-salesman delivery has been compared to ex-Sen. Cory Gardner, and that frequently put Evans in the position of being a mouthpiece for the House micro-minority during episodes that did not age well.

Historically, Colorado Republican state representatives have a terrible record when it comes to winning higher office. It’s been fourteen years since then-state Reps. Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton traded up to Congress from the Colorado legislature, while Democrats just in 2022 sent two state lawmakers to Washington–the same year numerous GOP lawmakers including Ron Hanks, now-GOP chairman Dave Williams, and state Sen. Barb Kirkmeyer all saw their bids for federal office fall flat.

Rep. Evans now faces the gauntlet of a state Republican Party under Williams openly meddling in the primary process to enforce far-right ideological standards on Republican candidates. Even with the GOP/Libertarian “grand alliance” teetering under its own weight, if Williams decides for any reason that Evans is not conservative enough he has plenty of alternatives. We haven’t heard specifically whether Evans is on Dave Williams’ extensive naughty list, but after Williams embarrassed the caucus by arranging a paid no-show “legislative aide” position to cover the bills we can imagine there being little love between them.

And that, as they say, is the long row Gabe Evans must now hoe. The most likely outcome is Evans joining a long list of overly ambitious fellow Republicans whose reach exceeded their grasp.


4 thoughts on ““Gabbin’ Gabe” Evans Mansplains Into CD-8 GOP Primary

  1. They would have been better off re-running Kirkmeyer who is apparently too RINO-ish for the Libertarians. At least Kirkmeyer came within shouting distance of Caraveo.

    If they want to run a real conservative Republican, why not Vicky Marble or Lori Saine who at least have name recognition?


    1. There ya go! I'm sure by now everyone has forgotten that time an 11-year-old child totally clowned Marble during a Q&A. As for [in]Saine, any opportunity to trundle out that in-court photo of her looking like a morbidly obese involuntary psych hospital patient is more than welcome.

  2. Gabe Evans and Scott James are having trouble in "reading the room," with their hard core anti-abortion positions.

    The four state-wide ballot initiatives between 2008 and 2020 supported abortion rights by an average of 67% for and 33% against.

    1. That's the next room down the hall. First, they are reading the GOP Primary Room which is packed with religious nuts, gun fetishists, angry racists, and xenophobes. 

      Besides, as John Milton said, "It's better to rule in hell than serve in heaven." Winning the GOP nomination is victory enough. He can claim to be a leader in the Party of Real Merikans.

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