All three Republican-held congressional seats in Colorado are open in 2024

Buck and Lamborn's retirements, along with Boebert switching districts, could create a competitive Republican primary.
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Posted at 6:00 PM, Jan 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-08 20:22:33-05

DENVER — All three congressional seats held by Republicans in Colorado are now up for grabs, and it could result in a competitive primary season.

Two longtime congressmen, Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn, announced they’re retiring at the end of 2024. Congresswoman Lauren Boebert is running to replace Buck in Colorado's 4th Congressional District, leaving her seat in the state's 3rd Congressional District open.

“I cannot remember a time when they've all been open,” said Seth Masket, a political science professor and director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver. “We're probably not looking at these at these seats changing party hands. But with the incumbents gone, that means you have a pretty competitive nomination in all of them.”

On Monday, former State Representative Dave Williams announced his campaign to replace Lamborn in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District, which includes the Colorado Springs area. Williams is the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. He’s also an election denier, who believes the false claim that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election.

In a statement announcing his candidacy, Williams pledged to take on “the radical left” and “establishment swamp” in Washington D.C.

“The radical left and the swamp in D.C. are coming for you,” Williams said. “And I promise to stand in their way so you and your family can succeed and have the freedom to live the life you want to live. Together we will advance our America-First movement forward while returning power back to ‘We the People’ and away from the crooks in Washington D.C.”

Williams also said in a statement to Colorado Republicans that he plans to remain as party chair while he runs for Congress.

“As our State Party Bylaws allow, I will remain as chairman through the course of the primary election where we will continue our work of rebuilding Party infrastructure, preparing for caucus and assemblies, continuing our important lawsuit battles to keep President Trump on the ballot and overturn the open primary, and exposing out-of-touch Democrats for being radical and corrupt.”

In the 4th Congressional District, Boebert’s bid to replace Buck has received a lot of attention. She also picked up a key endorsement from U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson. But Boebert entering the race hasn’t caused any of the other candidates to drop out.

“She can't get elected in her own district. I don't think she's gonna get elected in this district either,” said Ted Harvey, a former state senator and Republican candidate for the 4th Congressional District.

The field of candidates looking to represent the 4th Congressional District, which includes Douglas County and eastern Colorado, has grown. Eleven Republicans are now running, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Masket said the crowded field may help Boebert.

“The crowded field creates a lot more unpredictability there,” said Masket. “I think it gives her an advantage just because she's the biggest name in the field.”

Shad Murib, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, believes Democrats can make in-roads with voters in Republican areas.

“We're seeing some of the worst of the worst that appeal to no one but the furthest right extremes of the modern Republican Party,” said Murib. “We have a lot of sort of old school Republicans, community-minded unaffiliateds, and just your traditional Democrats who are disgusted by the MAGA bend of the Republican Party.”

He said Democrats will double down on efforts to win the seat Boebert is vacating in the state's 3rd Congressional District — a seat she won by just 546 votes in 2022.

“Our goal is not just to beat Lauren Boebert, but is to build infrastructure that makes sure someone like Lauren Boebert never has the opportunity to take office again,” said Murib.

But with Boebert no longer running in that district, Masket said it could be more difficult for Democrats to flip.

"I think a more conventional Republican, even a relatively quiet Republican who wasn't as much of a lightning rod as Lauren Boebert, has a pretty significant chance of winning,” said Masket.

Colorado’s primary elections for Congress will be held June 25.

All three Republican-held congressional seats in Colorado are open in 2024

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