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Lauren Boebert easily beats primary challenger Don Coram in Colorado’s 3rd District

Hugh Carey
The Colorado Sun
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert waves to the cheering crowd during the GOP assembly at the Broadmoor World Arena on Saturday, April 9, 2022, in Colorado Springs.

This story was originally published in The Colorado Sun.

Updated 8:00 P.M. Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert on Tuesday took a major step toward securing a second term when she easily defeated her Republican primary challenger, state Sen. Don Coram, in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.

The Associated Press called the race for Boebert at 7:36 p.m. Boebert was leading Coram with 64% of the vote compared to his 36%.

Coram promised to be a drama-free, get-it-done replacement to Boebert in Washington. But 3rd District GOP voters decided instead by what appeared to be a commanding margin to stay the course with the Garfield County congresswoman, despite all of her controversies, which have helped make Boebert a national Republican figure.

Boebert raised far more money than Coram heading into the primary election in the 3rd District, which sweeps from the Western Slope into Pueblo and southeast Colorado. She also benefited from about $375,000 in support from outside groups.

Coram came out of the gate late. He didn’t truly hit the campaign trail until late May, saying he was trying to balance his duties in the Colorado legislature with his congressional campaign.

Thousands of Democrats switched their party affiliation to unaffiliated to cast a ballot in favor of Coram in the GOP primary, according to state voter records and news reports, but it wasn’t enough to oust Boebert.

John Otten, a 71-year-old lifelong Democrat who became an unaffiliated voter, said he did so because he wanted to vote against Boebert and indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is running for secretary of state.

“That was 100%my reason,” Otten said in an interview outside of a voting center in Mesa County.

Mary Swindell, a 44-year-old unaffiliated voter in Carbondale, said she voted in the Republican primary because of her frustration with Boebert.

“I do not like our House representative,” she plainly told The Colorado Sun in an interview outside of a polling location.

William Woody
Special to The Colorado Sun
Colorado state Sen. Don Coram speaks during a debate with Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert at the Sky Ute Resort and Casino in Ignacio on May 26, 2022.

Georgine Garbarini, a 66-year-old unaffiliated voter in Carbondale, thought about casting a ballot in the Republican primary but ultimately decided to vote a Democratic ballot.

“I generally don’t like to vote against, I like to vote for,” she said. “But it was a close call.”

Garbarini said she voted for Democrat Sol Sandoval, a community activist from Pueblo, in the 3rd Congressional District primary.

Democrats face a lopsided battle in trying to unseat Boebert in November. The 3rd District, which was partially redrawn last year as part of Colorado’s once-a-decade redistricting process, now leans at least 9 percentage points in Republicans’ favor, according to an analysis of the results of eight statewide races between 2016 and 2020 by nonpartisan redistricting staff.

Boebert won her first term in 2020, when the district was more favorable to Democrats, by 6 percentage points.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

Colorado Sun staff writer Chris Outcalt contributed reporting from Carbondale. Colorado Sun correspondent Nancy Lofholm contributed reporting from Grand Junction.

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