Democrats gear up for rematch against Lauren Boebert after her near-loss in the 2022 midterms: 'She's actually doubled down on crazy'
- After a close 2022 result, Democrats are hoping to knock off GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert next year.
- Last year, Boebert won her Republican-leaning Colorado district over Adam Frisch by only 546 votes.
Even before Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado was elected to Congress in 2020, she had become a rising star in the Republican Party, with leading conservatives thrilled by her unapologetically conservative views on abortion and guns.
She became nationally known for her gun-themed restaurant, Shooter's Grill, which operated from 2013 until 2022 in Rifle, Colo., and has been a prominent backer of former President Donald Trump.
And as the incumbent in the state's conservative-leaning 3rd Congressional District, it appeared to many as though Boebert would be relatively safe in her reelection bid in last year's midterms.
But she ended up defeating her Democratic opponent, former Aspen city councilman Adam Frisch, by only 546 votes out of about 327,000 ballots cast — after an automatic recount in what was the closest congressional race in the entire country in 2022.
Democrats aren't leaving anything to chance this time around.
Not only has the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee listed the district as one of their 31 target seats next year, but Frisch in February announced that he would seek a rematch against Boebert. In the first quarter of 2023, he raised $1.7 million.
"One of our most effective comments that we talked about in the district was she's not focused on the job, she's focused on herself," Frisch recently told The Hill. "I can't believe she had almost the most embarrassing loss in 20 years and she hasn't changed one iota. She's actually doubled down on crazy."
Boebert has been one of Trump's staunchest proponents of his debunked claims that he won the 2020 presidential election over now-President Joe Biden.
After Republicans regained a House majority in January, Boebert was placed on the Oversight Committee, where during a February hearing she yelled at a former Twitter executive and accused him of shadow-banning her account over a tweet about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that she said was intended as a joke.
And on the House floor last month, she baselessly charged that Democrats were "doing just fine with election interference" over what she said was their attempt to silence news about "the Hunter Biden laptop from hell" ahead of the 2020 election.
Former Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams said that when Boebert first came on the political scene, she became known for her in-your-face messaging and her focus on cultural issues.
"She took that very combative style to her everyday work in the US House of Representatives," Wadhams told The Hill. "I think it started the people in the third congressional district thinking that she wasn't paying enough attention to the district as she was paying more attention to national politics."
But Wadhams told the publication that despite such a sentiment, Boebert's visibility among Republicans nationwide allowed her to easily raise money for her campaign last year.
In the 2022 campaign cycle, the congresswoman took in $8 million. (She has not yet released her numbers for the first quarter of 2023.)
"She's always been a fundraising machine so she's certainly going to have enough money," he said.
Frisch has sought to project himself as a moderate in a district that Trump won in both 2016 and 2020, but Republicans think they have a winning message in tying him to congressional Democrats in Washington, DC.
"Extreme House Democrats lost the majority because they hammered families with crime, chaos and skyrocketing costs," National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Jack Pandol said in a statement. "Why would voters change their minds after Democrats spent their time in the minority coddling violent criminals and opposing relief?"
And Boebert has sought to project herself as a workhorse as she moves through her second term in office.
"I'm working every day to be a strong legislator and to deliver results," she said in a statement. "I think I've been surprising my detractors by introducing and passing a growing list of bipartisan legislation and amendments."
But Trump, who late last month was indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney's office over his involvement in a hush-money payment made to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels in advance of the 2016 presidential election, remains unpopular in Colorado and could be a drag for Boebert if he's the Republican presidential nominee next year.
"Donald Trump, he's just completely toxic in this state," pollster David Flaherty told The Hill. "When he's anywhere near the discussion, he's just a walking turnout machine for Democrat and younger voters."
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