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December 28, 2023 11:49 AM UTC

Boebert's Safe-Seat Switcheroo Blasted By Basically Everybody

  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) and the CO-04 primary field.

Yesterday’s jaw-dropping announcement by GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert that she would abandon the race for re-election to a third term representing Colorado’s Western Slope and instead run for re-election in retiring Rep. Ken Buck’s Fourth Congressional District has scrambled the outlook for the 2024 elections in Colorado as much or even more than the recent Colorado Supreme Court decision disqualifying ex-President Donald Trump from the 2024 presidential ballot. With this decision reportedly known only to a select few before it was announced, Boebert has thrown the race for her former seat wide open while at the same time dramatically increasing the stakes in the upcoming CD-4 GOP primary–at least in theory.

One thing we can say with certainty the morning after, as Colorado Community News’ McKenna Harford reports, is that a severely weakened post-Beetlebert Boebert will not be clearing the crowded CD-4 primary field upon entry into the race. Today, most of the candidates Boebert will be contending with in the June 25th primary are taking direct metaphorical aim at Boebert as their new principal target:

Several south metro area Republicans are eyeing campaigns to replace Buck, including former state lawmaker Ted Harvey of Highlands Ranch, who had harsh words regarding Boebert’s sudden move.

“Boebert has failed the conservatives in (the 3rd district) to such a degree that they will no longer vote for her,” he told Colorado Community Media. “Now, in what can only be seen as a vain effort to cling to power, she seeks to represent the voters of (the 4th district) — a vastly different constituency. This desperate stunt by Boebert may not only jeopardize the Republican Party’s ability to retain (the 3rd district), but if she were to win the primary, could place [the 4th district] at risk as well.” [Pols emphasis]

…Another hopeful for the seat, state Rep. Richard Holtorf of Akron on the Eastern Plains, called Boebert’s move “seat shopping.”

“If you can’t win in your home, you can’t win here,” Holtorf said in a statement.

He said Boebert could not possibly know the 4th Congressional District as well as candidates from the area.

“She is grossly lacking in understanding the needs of the 21 counties in Eastern Colorado that make up this district,” he stated. “She knew she’d lose in her own district and I’ll show her that she’ll lose here too.” [Pols emphasis]

“MAGA King” CD-4 contender Tent Leisy, who as readers know is organizing an I-25 MAGA convoy this weekend to protest the Colorado Supremes’ decision disqualifying Trump with election conspiracy theorist Joe “America’s Hangman” Oltmann, is similarly outraged at Boebert’s entry in the race, claiming that Boebert promised him in October it wouldn’t happen:

It’s important to keep in mind that although “Beetlebert” and Boebert’s many other personal and professional scandals had done a great deal of damage to Boebert’s re-election prospects, Boebert was nonetheless considered the favorite to defeat her unknown primary opponent Jeff “You’ve Never” Hurd, though perhaps by a smaller margin than her 2022 primary trouncing of former state Sen. Don Coram. It’s clearly the general election rematch against Adam Frisch, who came within 546 votes of ending Boebert’s career in 2022, that spooked Boebert into making the desperate decision to dive into a crowded primary for a safer Republican seat hundreds of miles from her longtime home.

Boebert is banking on her vast social media footprint overwhelming the rest of the primary field in CD-4. The problem with this is that Boebert’s liabilities are increasingly nonpolitical in nature post-Beetlebert, and just as repellent to conservative primary voters in CD-4 as they are in CD-3. Abandoning her relatively safe Republican seat for a chance at an incrementally safer one is an acknowledgment of weakness that not even Boebert’s more ardent supporters can spin. The honorable way for Boebert to have ended her career would have been a showdown against Frisch, not placing third or fourth in the primary for a district on the opposite side of the state. Barring some kind of miracle, the latter is now the most likely outcome.

As for CD-3, Frisch, and Barbora Hurd’s husband? Frisch has amassed a war chest to make him a formidable contender no matter who his general election opponent is, and that opponent at this point is very unlikely to be Jeff Hurd. With Boebert out of the CD-3 race, all eyes are on bigger names in CD-3 who now have no disincentive to jump in. From Boebert’s predecessor former Rep. Scott Tipton to recently retired Mesa State President Tim Foster, current and former Republican legislators in the district, and others simply better known than Jeff Hurd, a whole lot of people have a whole new set of variables to consider. Former Sen. Ray Scott alluded to the chaos that may be about to envelop the CD-3 primary:

With nothing like the fierce primary battles setting up among Republicans in these two districts, Democrats looking at 2024 have had the luxury of space to plan the retention of their huge legislative majorities and shoring up freshman Rep. Yadira Caraveo in the state’s newest and swingiest congressional district. Ending Lauren Boebert’s reign of error was the priority that came right after those…and now Boebert may well have taken care of that herself.


21 thoughts on “Boebert’s Safe-Seat Switcheroo Blasted By Basically Everybody

  1. The last part of this diary is why I'm going to wait a few weeks before declaring CD-3 unwinnable for Frisch, or maybe even another Dem. I don't yet see Hurd as well-known enough or politically scintillating enough to have cleared the field, even with support from the Colorado Mesa ivory tower sect of the district. A candidate(s) who saw no sense to running in B**bert's ideological lane might now see that running could make sense, and that's why Ray Scott said all hell might "break lose" (sic). Or maybe that's really what he meant to say!

    We've seen in 2020 how a complete unknown can win a GOP primary against a nondescript white male, then in the general Rs have a registration advantage over Ds but the district is 43.6% unaffiliated. I'm not claiming Frisch as a frontrunner in this new environment, but I'm saying there's a chance.

    1. Thank you. Declaring something "unwinnable" is a lazy person's way of avoiding the work necessary to win it.

      Looking at you, political consultants and wannabe pundits.

  2. I think every Republican outside of those running in CD-4 and their supporters is thrilled with this. CD-4 will still go Republican. And CD-3 is now an easier battle. Frisch still has a chance, but his odds just dropped a lot.

    So the headline that Everybody is upset with this… Nope.

    1. Two elements to make CO-3 MUCH more likely to go Democratic (for a term).

      1. Whoever gets in now will be in for a primary fight.  I doubt Hurd would be willing to stand aside (with his endorsements, fundraising, and campaign personnel, he's probably a frontrunner), everyone who joins in will have the "wasn't going to go against Boebert" legacy to live down to, and the primary fight will almost certainly be another instance of "RINO" v. "MAGA" contest.
      2. Whoever wins the Republican nomination at the end of June, they will be looking at ramping up a campaign against Frisch.  Known from his 2022 campaign, known from starting immediately to run for 2024, with fundraising and campaign personnel in place, and in the next 6 months will be able to mainly focus on a general election campaign as the primary opponent is having a hard time getting traction.  At the end of September, he had over $4 million cash for his campaign — no doubt substantially more now.  And Colorado Democrats have a 546 Project going to develop efforts in CO-3, strengthening the Frisch and those down the ballot.

      In a Presidential year that will bring more voters to the polls, Frisch can appeal to those who do NOT want to endorse a Republican House majority like that they will be seeing for the remainder of this Congressional session.

    1. Wow, the Hill's journalistic faux pas was one thing, but rhetorically does Williamson (sic) actually think BoBo was best positioned to win in CD3? If I was in the GOP I'd be more than a little concerned that the state chair would say that, because it really isn't a ringing endorsement for Hurd or anyone else who Might As Well Jump into the race!

  3. I wonder how much Bobert, got paid by the Republican dark money PACs for withdrawing from our congressional distrct to another one? I think that the 3rd was likely to flip to D in the next election with her on the ballot; with a real candidate that's by no means certain. Meanwhile, she's almost certain to lose the primary in the 4th, but no matter who they nominate, the R will be elected. So for a few hundred thousand dollars in under the table "consultant fees," she goes away and the R's don't lose a house seat.


    1. That's actually a fairly plausible scenario.  Her CD4 switch is basically a plea from her to keep her $3,300 per week "no work requirement" welfare check coming.  Since there is zero chance of that happening in CD4, taking a buyout option was probably her best shot.

      Maybe like Palin (who?) she'll also try to start a subscription based podcast channel.  Except, she just terminally pissed off everyone in CD3 and GOPers in general.

      CD3 will definitely be the most interesting contest to watch in 2024.

      1. Agree. Her career as an elected office holder in Colorado is over. Her career as professional cheese gatherer is still going strong. Santos will show her how to milk the system and she will embody the "Have Gun —Will Travel" persona.

        Lauren…Texas needs you!!

  4. As a victim of booberts reign of negligence here in CD-3 having her depart for any reason is a positive move.  Adam Frisch will be dealing with the afterburn of her incompetence for at least 3 terms. 

    1. If I understand things correctly, the FCA ( Finest Congressman in America | HT to Miguel) can’t spend her 1.4 million dollar cheesecake unless she is campaigning. 

  5. Boebert not running for CD3 is probably the best scenario for Republicans. Whatever comes out of the CD4 clownshow Republican primary will likely end up being the CD4 representative. If a CD3 Republican candidate can define themselves other than "I'm not Boebert" then I think they have a decent chance of winning CD3.

    Whether it's Frisch or Barbara Hurd's Husband or someone else, CD3 should end up with a good representative for them who is 10x what Boebert was because, fuck, that's a low bar.

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