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CD3 candidate’s neighbor filed for protection order after 2021 conflict

February 2, 2024, 5:00 am

The next-door neighbors of a Republican candidate looking to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District filed for a temporary protection order against him in 2021. 

Court documents reviewed by Newsline show that the neighbors of Russ Andrews, a Carbondale businessman vying for the Republican nomination to replace U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, filed for a protection order against him in October 2021 after they said he threatened them.

Russ Andrews

The initial motion for a civil protection order said that in the three years the complainants had lived next to Andrews, they “constantly have had noise issues from him with repeatedly cussing, yelling, and screaming” and had reported incidents to their local homeowners association. Tensions appear to have escalated on Oct. 7, 2021, when the neighbors contacted authorities after a verbal altercation.

“The verbal assault and threats were heard by myself and spouse while inside my home where my 7-year-old daughter was also present,” the complaint said. “The threat of ‘I hope I never meet you because I might have to pop you’ made me believe that my life was in (imminent) danger so I called the Garfield County police.” Russ Andrews is running to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. (Photo courtesy of Russ Andrews’ campaign)

Eric Harpootian, Andrews’ campaign manager, told Newsline that the disagreement started in the summer of 2020 when Andrews put a sign in support of former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign on his lawn, and said the response was likely politically motivated. 

“I think Russ just suspected that his neighbor was not happy about this sign, and they decided to start lodging complaints about his barking dogs, and things kind of escalated and the neighbor decided to place a protection order on Russ,” Harpootian said. 

The Garfield County Court granted a one-year temporary order that prohibited Andrews from contacting his neighbors or coming within 50 yards of their property. Andrews underwent counseling as required by the order and had to relinquish his firearms from his home throughout the duration of the order. 

“He completed those classes and I think Russ has learned from those experiences, and this is kind of in the past,” Harpootian said.

Andrews abided by all requirements of the order, and after the one-year temporary order expired, the neighbors didn’t pursue further action.  

Harpootian said the matter has been resolved and does not embody who Andrews is. He said Andrews is now focused on campaigning across the Western Slope and listening to voters with the goal of keeping the seat “in Republican hands.” Harpootian said Andrews is a “community-minded guy” who has been involved in a variety of ways supporting local organizations.

Andrews has served on the board of directors for the Independence Pass Foundation as well as the Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. His campaign website says he wants to increase funding for local roads and that, if elected, he intends to “reach out to every other Congressperson and Senator to find common ground on legislation he is proposing.”

The 3rd District Republican primary opened up when Boebert, also a Republican, announced in December that she would run for the 4th District seat instead, to try and replace outgoing Republican Rep. Ken Buck. She was already facing a tough 3rd District primary challenger in political newcomer Jeff Hurd, who has racked up endorsements from noteworthy Colorado Republicans. 

Former Republican state Rep. Ron Hanks and Republican State Board of Education member Stephen Varela have also entered the race since Boebert’s move. Andrews has raised the most campaign funds so far beside Hurd among 3rd District Republican candidates, according to the Federal Election Commission.

If Boebert made it to the general election, she likely would have faced Democrat Adam Frisch, who she beat by just 546 votes in 2022.

The district encompasses the Western Slope and the southwest corner of the state, sweeping east to include Pueblo, Otero and Las Animas counties. It historically favors Republicans by 9 percentage points.

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: info@coloradonewsline.com. Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.

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