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Republicans blast Frisch for ads attacking Hurd ahead of CD3 GOP primary

June 19, 2024, 9:54 am
Adam Frisch listens while debating U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert, R-CO3, in September of 2022 (William Woody for Colorado Newsline).

Colorado’s most cash-rich congressional candidate is using part of his campaign war chest on a last-minute effort to put his thumb on the scale in the opposing party’s primary contest.

Democrat Adam Frisch, a former Aspen City Council member seeking to flip Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District from red to blue, is funding TV ads this week attacking Republican Jeff Hurd, a Grand Junction attorney and the GOP establishment’s pick in the party’s six-way 3rd District primary on June 25.

Hurd and his five primary opponents are running to succeed far-right Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, who announced late last year that she would switch to the more conservative 4th District after defeating Frisch in 2022 by just 546 votes. CD3 includes part of Eagle County and most of Colorado’s Western Slope.

Frisch’s ad, which is running in markets including Denver and Grand Junction between June 17 and 24, highlights support for Hurd among conservative super PACs funded by corporate interests, and accuses him of “hiding” on key issues.

“He won’t say where he is on abortion, the Second Amendment, or building the wall,” the ad says. “Hurd won’t even say who he voted for in 2016, in 2020, or who he supports for president now.”

That messaging resembles recent ads attacking Hurd funded by Rocky Mountain Values, a Democratic super PAC. Federal Election Commission reports show that the group has spent at least $381,440 on anti-Hurd ads, as well as ads nominally opposing far-right former state Rep. Ron Hanks, calling Hanks “too conservative” and linking Hanks with Trump.

It’s the second time that a Democratic super PAC has engaged in an apparent effort to raise the profile of Hanks, an election denier who was present outside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, and help him prevail in a GOP primary over more moderate rivals. A similar attempt to boost Hanks over construction executive Joe O’Dea in Colorado’s 2022 U.S. Senate primary didn’t succeed.

In a statement, Frisch campaign manager Camilo Vilaseca called Hurd and Hanks the only two Republicans with a chance of winning the primary.

“I’m tired of watching Adam take shots from both of them,” Vilaseca said. “As far as I’m concerned, the general election has started.”

Hanks has spent hardly any money on his congressional campaign, reporting just $7,438 in expenditures as of June 5.

Frisch, by contrast, is by far Colorado’s best-funded congressional candidate. He broke records while campaigning against Boebert and has continued to lead candidates across the state in quarterly fundraising totals even after her district switch. As of June 5, he reported total spending of over $10 million in the 2024 election cycle and $3.7 million in cash on hand.

Republicans hold a moderate advantage in the 3rd District, which encompasses much of the Western Slope and Pueblo.

In a statement, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesperson Delanie Bomar denounced what she called Frisch’s “gutter politics.”

“Republicans must stand united to denounce Democrats’ pathetic primary meddling — because Republicans should pick our party’s nominee, not Democrats,” Bomar said.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Colorado Newsline, which is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network 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 X.

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