Lauren Boebert beats Don Coram in Republican primary, Frisch wins Democratic contest

Voters chose the incumbent firebrand as the Republican nominee

By: and - June 28, 2022 11:22 pm

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert prays during a primary election night watch party at Warehouse25sixty-five Kitchen + Bar in Grand Junction on June 28, 2022. Her husband, Jayson, is behind her. (Sharon Sullivan for Colorado Newsline)

Incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert held off a primary challenge Tuesday night and will be the party’s nominee in the fall in an increasingly conservative 3rd Congressional District.

As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, unofficial results showed Boebert, of Silt, with about 65% of the vote and challenger state Sen. Don Coram with about 35%. The Associated Press called the race about half an hour after polls closed.

Coram, of Montrose, entered the primary race relatively late and promised to be a moderate response to Boebert’s controversial and combative conservatism. Despite touting his experience as a state legislator, he lagged behind in name recognition and fundraising and could not attract enough unaffiliated and Republican voters into his court.

Colorado state Sen. Don Coram hangs out with his toughts during a primary election was party at the Bridges in Montrose, June 28, 2022. (William Woody, Special to Colorado Newsline)

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Approximately 90 people showed up for an election night watch party for Boebert at Warehouse 2565 Kitchen + Bar in Grand Junction. Among those in attendance were Kevin McCarney, chairman of the Mesa County Republicans; Bobbie Daniel, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary for Mesa County commissioner; Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland; and Palisade peach growers Charlie and Nathan Talbott.

Huge applause erupted when Boebert, accompanied by her husband, Jayson, came down the stairs at the Warehouse. Boebert was introduced as a mom of four, a restaurant owner, and a professional RINO hunter — eliciting more applause. RINO is an acronym for “Republican in name only.”

“This is going to be an amazing victory for each and every one of you,” Boebert told the crowd. “I want you to know how much I love you. Thank you for sticking around during the beauty and the ugly, the fake and the real.”

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert prays during a primary election night watch party at Warehouse25sixty-five Kitchen + Bar in Grand Junction on June 28, 2022. Her husband, Jayson, is behind her. (Sharon Sullivan for Colorado Newsline)

Then she turned the stage over to Christian singer Sean Feucht and his band. And the evening resembled a religious revival. Boebert appeared to be almost in a trance as someone led a prayer in front of the crowd. Boebert murmured something continuously throughout the group prayer.

“Yesterday this singer was praising God in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.,” Boebert said. “We want to honor and glorify God tonight. We will worship God above all else and have good news for you soon.”

Feucht and Boebert both praised the three Supreme Court members appointed by former President Donald Trump who helped bring about the recent reversal of the abortion rights guaranteed by Roe v. Wade.

“Because of the three justices that Donald J. Trump appointed — isn’t that amazing they thought they got rid of him, but he’s still got some victories coming out,” Boebert said. “Life wins in America. Sixty-three million babies have the opportunity to live their life.”

Wally Smith came from Montrose to attend the watch party supporting Boebert.

“That girl has got to get elected,” Smith said. “She could teach a lot of preachers how to pray. I believe in her. I know Don Coram — he’s the devil.”

Mesa County Republican Party chair Kevin McCarney talks with Stand For the Constitution member Cory Anderson at an election night watch party for Rep. Lauren Boebert at Warehouse25sixty-five Kitchen + Bar in Grand Junction on June 28, 2022. (Sharon Sullivan for Colorado Newsline)

Democratic primary

Boebert ran a low-key campaign but raked in cash from donors and relied on her conservative credentials that put her in line with the far-right flank of the Republican Party when speaking at events leading up to the election. She has over $2 million in cash on hand going into her general election campaign.

The Democratic primary in the district remained undecided through Tuesday night, but the AP called the race Wednesday morning in favor of former Aspen City Council member Adam Frisch.

He had already appeared to claim victory on Twitter Tuesday.

“I am humbled the voters selected me to defeat Boebert. Over 55% of voters selected someone other than Boebert in the primary. I’ll build that same coalition to beat Boebert in Nov,” he wrote.

Pueblo activist Sol Sandoval trailed Frisch by roughly 3 percentage points and first-time candidate Alex Walker was a distant third.

The 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses the Western Slope and swings into the San Luis Valley and Pueblo County, was redrawn in the redistricting process to favor Republicans by 9 percentage points.

Editor’s note: This story and the headline was updated at 11:32 a.m., June 29, 2022, to reflect that the Democratic primary race was called in favor of Adam Frisch on Wednesday morning.

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Sara Wilson
Sara Wilson

Sara Wilson covers state government, Colorado's congressional delegation, energy and other stories for Newsline. She formerly was a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain, where she covered politics and government in southern Colorado. Wilson earned a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and as a student she reported on Congress and other federal beats in Washington, D.C.

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Sharon Sullivan
Sharon Sullivan

Sharon Sullivan is a Grand Junction-based freelance writer. She can be reached at [email protected]

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