Boebert’s District Switch
Lines on the map for the win.
Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District is significantly more conservative than the Third, and securing the Republican nomination would place Ms. Boebert in a strong position to win in a seat where Mr. Buck earned 60 percent of the vote in 2022. Ms. Boebert barely won re-election that year, pulling ahead of her Democratic opponent, Adam Frisch, with roughly 500 votes.
An earlier analysis by the Cook Political Report had rated the race for Ms. Boebert’s current seat in 2024 as a tossup. By contrast, the race in the general election in the Fourth Congressional District is not considered competitive.
This is just another data point in my ongoing discussion of the value of lines on the map in our “representative” system. Politicians can, in many ways, including in this situation, seek to choose their voters, rather than the other way around. Boebert is here responding to the incentives that our system creates. Instead of having to adapt to the competitive pressures of her own district, she is going to try and leverage the primary system to her advantage.
This is a microcosm of the dynamic I like to note: the porousness of the primaries makes it an entry point into elected office far more than the elections themselves. Boebert sees that the best way to return to the House is to win a primary in a non-competitive district.
The interesting question is to what degree can she parlay her MAGA celebrity status into a win in the primary?
A primary challenger has since emerged with significant backers among prominent former Republican officials in the state. Jeff Hurd, a 44-year-old lawyer from Grand Junction, has been endorsed by former Gov. Bill Owens and former Senator Hank Brown. The editorial board of the Colorado Springs Gazette also endorsed Mr. Hurd over Ms. Boebert this month.
As such, this is also could be an interesting example of my point about primaries and the establishment within the party versus the ability of a non-preferred (by said establishment) candidate to win the nomination (i.e., an illustration of the weakness of US parties). Hurd would appear to be the CO GOP’s preferred candidate, but Boebert could end up using the primary process to usurp the nomination, and the seat since the winner of the primary is almost certainly going to win the seat.
Note that Boebert only needs to win the plurality of the primary vote to win the nomination. There are multiple candidates running.
The other Republicans running in the primary to replace Mr. Buck include two former state senators, Ted Harvey and Jerry Sonnenberg; Richard Holtorf, a state representative; Trent Leisy, a Navy veteran and business owner; and Deborah Flora, a radio host.