Rep. Lauren Boebert (left) and Adam Frisch (right) speak at a virtual forum on Oct. 12, 2022. (Zoom screenshot)
Colorado Democrat Adam Frisch continued to portray himself as a moderate who does not adhere to all party positions — especially on issues like energy and firearm restrictions — during a virtual forum Wednesday night. He is challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, who relied on messaging during the forum about the failures of the liberal agenda at the hands of Democratic leadership.
“I’m not running to be the voice of any party,” Frisch said during his closing remarks. “I’m going to be hired and fired by the citizens, families and businesses of CD3. I don’t report to Joe Biden. I don’t report to Nancy Pelosi, and I won’t be reporting to anyone in DC.”
Boebert, meanwhile, criticized Democratic policymaking and said Frisch is more left-leaning than he lets on.
“Liberal Democrats like Adam are running like moderates because they know they can’t win if they are truthful about their policies,” the congresswoman from Silt said.
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The forum was hosted by a group of League of Women Voters chapters in the 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses Colorado’s Western Slope and and the southwest corner of the state, sweeping east to include Pueblo, Otero and Las Animas counties. It generally favors Republicans by 9.1 percentage points.
It was the second time the duo faced off ahead of the general election on Nov. 8 and less than one week before voters will begin to receive their ballots in the mail.
Frisch, a former Aspen City Council member and business owner, repeatedly spoke about the importance of local control when it comes to issues like education and housing affordability, suggesting that the federal government should focus on sending money directly to county and city governments to enact their personalized solutions. He criticized Boebert for not supporting or introducing legislation that would bring in money for projects in the district.
“This is not a liberal or conservative or moderate conversation. It is bringing home the bucks to have the local elected leaders make the investments in the community. I would love to see a lot more money come from DC straight into the county level,” he said in response to a question on affordable housing.
He had a similar line of thinking in response to questions about education and mental health care investments. Boebert and Frisch had similar answers about leaving education decisions up to local school boards and parents rather than the federal government.
On immigration, Boebert repeated her support of securing the southern border.
“I think it’s immoral that the left’s open border policies encourage poor and often desperate people to often break our laws while they risk their lives and put our own law enforcement agent’s lives at risk,” she said, adding that the United States has an “extremely generous” existing immigration system.
Frisch agreed that the number of migrants coming through the southern border is an issue. He said that the business community should be “running the conversation” on overall immigration reform.
“For too long, the extremists on either side have been driving the conversation. It’s time to have the chamber of commerces and the business communities try to take a lot of the emotion out of it,” he said.
Frisch said he supported immigration reform pushed by the so-called Gang of Eight — which included Sen. Michael Bennet — in 2013 that included a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, business immigration system reforms and improved work visa options in industries like agriculture.
In a response to a question about health care costs and funding, Boebert said the federal government should encourage more competition, but individual states should develop their own solutions. She said she supports the concept of “health freedom accounts,” which would act as health savings accounts decoupled from insurance requirements.
The entire forum is available to view on the League of Women Voters’ Facebook page.
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