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Last chance to unaffiliate, change parties for June 28 GOP primary between Boebert, Coram

June 6, 2022, 8:45 am
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert during a Natural Resources committee hearing last year.

Monday, June 6, marks the final day for Colorado voters to either declare themselves unaffiliated or switch political parties in time for the June 28 primary. In the Roaring Fork corner of Eagle County and across the sprawling Western Slope 3rd Congressional District, such a move is being touted as a means of ousting pro-sedition Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Silt.

Democrats and unaffiliated voters are being urged to cross over and vote for moderate Republican state Sen. Don Coram of Montrose in the primary. But Monday is the last chance to either unaffiliate (in which case you get both party’s ballots … just make sure you only use one) or switch from Democrat to Republican on the Colorado Secretary of State site.

As I reported on RealVail.com last week, Republican Marina Zimmerman, who initially was challenging Boebert in the primary, has decided to remain on the Nov. 8 general election ballot as a write-in candidate in case Coram gets trounced on June 28 and because some of her supporters say Coram is too soft on seditionists, making the debunked “both sides” claim about the pro-Trump insurrection in D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021.

I initially and incorrectly reported Zimmerman “dropped out” of the primary in April, but as one reader noted, “Zimmerman was booed and handily defeated at the GOP assembly in April and then wanted to run as unaffiliated (which she could not do).” So, Zimmerman is staying in the Nov. 8 race as a write-in.

Of course, what all of that means is that a conservative albeit political newcomer like Zimmerman can’t cut it in today’s cultist Colorado GOP, where the true test is your loyalty to former President Donald Trump and his relentless adherence to the widely debunked “big lie” that he won the 2020 election. 

Boebert remains steadfastly loyal to the core GOP belief that the election was stolen from Trump, despite the U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Supreme Court and more than 60 judges, some of them Trump appointees, saying or ruling otherwise.

Coram is running a last-minute and likely longshot campaign to knock Boebert out in the primary, and in doing so he’s being careful not to upset the shockingly large percentage of GOP voters so detached from reality that they actually believe Democrat Joe Biden unfairly won the 2020 presidential election.

But Boebert has a lot more money and a lot more name recognition in a district dominated by far-right Grand Junction and working-class Pueblo, and after redistricting, CD3 has moved from six points Republican to nine points Republican.

In what is likely to be a brutal midterm for Democrats (as it historically is for the party holding the White House), Boebert remains the heavy favorite over the three Democrats still vying for the primary nod. I’m not sure social activist Sol Sandoval’s message will resonate, even in her blue-collar Pueblo home base; out-of-district Alex Walker seems like a gimmick candidate; and former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch is, well, from Aspen. Anybody remember Gail Schwartz?

But the CD3 race is really about something much bigger than who can beat Boebert. It’s about whether our nation can pull together to reject violent extremism and her central argument that the 2nd Amendment isn’t so much about protecting your gun rights for hunting or sport shooting, or really even self-defense, as much as it’s about being able to take down the government if you don’t like its overreaching rules … or who wins elections.

Boebert, who’s been railing against any sensible gun-safety laws in the wake of recent mass shootings, gave me her 2nd Amendment take in our one and likely only phone interview back in 2020 when I asked about armed anti-government protesters storming the Michigan state capitol.

The constitution, of course, does not include verbiage enshrining the rights of troubled 18-year-olds to military-style, semiautomatic assault weapons that scare off or outgun even trained police officers, and in no way can these teens be construed to be members of a “well-regulated militia” (that would be the Colorado National Guard).

I’ve been asking candidates for our local state House and Senate races to weigh in on these issues, with their very revealing answers posted herehere and here. But one local primary candidate, a guy from Eagle who has refused to respond by phone or email, has so far dodged these tough but fair questions.

At a debate in Eagle last week, the candidate, Glenn Lowe, finally had to answer an election question from a Vail resident apparently still worried about the role of state legislatures in what some are describing as the Jan. 6 coup attempt.

“Talking about a stolen election isn’t going to do either party any good,” Lowe reportedly said. His Republican primary opponent for House District 26, Savannah Wolfson of Oak Creek, similarly replied, “A lot of us are ready to move forward.”

That’s a growing refrain from the right as the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters gets ready to hold public hearings this week. The problem with “moving on” is Republicans are poised to do it again, only better, with elected officials like Boebert “proud” of their votes not to certify a freely and fairly elected President Biden. That’s called using political and actual violence to disenfranchise the millions of voters who chose Biden.

Boebert made clear her support for the Jan. 6 domestic terrorists, calling them her constituents and tweeting “Today is 1776”, which echoes Proud Boys who on Monday were indicted for seditious conspiracy. What Boebert did was as bad as attorney John Eastman writing the memo for the entire coup plot while on the dime for the University of Colorado, and then touting his dangerous – and widely rejected – ideas here in Eagle County in 2020.

Eastman spoke at the Steamboat Institute’s Freedom Conference and Festival at the Park Hyatt, Beaver Creek. That event should be cancelled given the ongoing congressional and now Justice Department investigations into Jan. 6 and its architects, which could very well lead to criminal if not civil charges.

But there it is again on the calendar – the 14th annual Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference and Festival at Park Hyatt, Beaver Creek, Aug. 26-27. Mark your calendars if you’re still in a protesting mood then. Let’s also hope there’s some local energy for a March for Our Lives rally in Edwards this Saturday, June 11. Click here to sign up and here for a powerful video on active shooters.

But if you really want to see meaningful political change on the subject of gun safety, connect it with the party that has fully shifted to heavily armed violence as a means of obtaining and holding onto power, and make that party pay at the polls.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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