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Sol Sandoval emerged as the only candidate on Tuesday night to qualify for the Democratic primary ballot in the 3rd Congressional District through the assembly process, securing her spot as the frontrunner to most likely face incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert in the general election.
The Puebloan will be one of at least three candidates on the June 28 primary ballot hoping to secure the Democratic nomination. Sandoval, 38, has a decade of social work experience and also works in community organizing and activism. She has not previously held elective office.
“I want to thank my fellow CD3 Democrats for supporting me. It will be an honor to earn your vote, and everyone’s vote, as the Democratic nominee for CD3,” Sandoval said in a statement after the assembly.
Sandoval received 46.46% of the 297 votes cast during the virtual district assembly. The threshold to advance is 30% of the delegate vote, and Sandoval was the only one of six candidates to land on the ballot.
“I have demonstrated to you that I know how to raise money, something that we are going to need to defeat Boebert,” she said before the vote. Sandoval said she has raised nearly $1 million so far, and that financial picture will become clearer following financial disclosures due later this month.
“Support the candidate tonight who has raised the most money, who has traveled the most all across this district and gained the most delegates, the only woman who is fully bilingual, indigenous, Chicana,” she said. “I’m going to engage those people. CD3, if you’re ready to win, I’m ready to take Lauren Boebert down.”
State Rep. Don Valdez of La Jara fell just short of the threshold with 28.6% of the delegate vote. Veterinarian Debby Burnett received 21.8%, Glenwood Springs lawyer Colin Wilhelm received 2.02%, human services worker Kellie Rhodes received 1.01% and Root Routledge received 0%.
Sandoval is a self-described Latina child of immigrants who grew up in a union family. “I’m the first in my family to graduate from college and I will always fight for working families and better opportunity for all. My campaign has been built and will be built on those values,” she said in a statement.
Two other Democrats running for the 3rd District seat, Alex Walker and Adam Frisch, have already qualified for the primary ballot through the petition process. Scott Yates also submitted a petition but the secretary of state’s office has not finished reviewing its sufficiency. The 3rd District covers Western Slope and the south-central part of the state, including Pueblo.
Other Democratic congressional assemblies were also held virtually on Tuesday.
Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Colorado Newsline, which is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.