Briefline

Boebert challenger Valdez calls on congresswoman to resign over Islamophobic comments

By: - December 7, 2021 3:26 pm

State Rep. Donald Valdez, a Democrat from La Jara, speaks in Pueblo on Dec. 7, 2021.

Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and state Rep. Donald Valdez called on Rep. Lauren Boebert to resign, following her suggestion over a Thanksgiving visit home that a Muslim colleague in Congress could be a suicide bomber.

“Instead of taking the opportunity to speak on legislation she is putting forth to help her constituents, she went on a bigoted, anti-Islamic rant against Congresswoman Omar,” Valdez said at a Tuesday morning press conference in Pueblo.

A video posted on Twitter at the end of November shows Boebert suggesting that if Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., wore a backpack, Capitol police would suspect her of being a suicide bomber.

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“This latest stunt is just another chapter in a long book of disqualifying actions,” Valdez said. “She is unfit to serve.”

Valdez coupled his call for Boebert’s resignation with comments on her lack of engagement on issues that affect rural Colorado, such as infrastructure, broadband access and climate change mitigation. Boebert voted against the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was recently signed into law and will infuse billions of dollars into the state’s roads, bridges and water infrastructure.

He said that she is more concerned with her own celebrity than the issues that rural Coloradans in the district face.

“You have no interest in solving problems. When you resign, you can do whatever the hell you want. But as a leader and representative in the U.S. Congress, one must represent the people of their congressional districts — our farmers and ranchers, our teachers, our doctors, our nurses, our small business owners, but more importantly the next generation who desperately need our help to continue to survive every single day,” he said.

“I think you would prefer it if you resigned, and so would the constituents in the 3rd Congressional District.”

Boebert did not respond to a request for comment.

Valdez is in a crowded field of Democratic candidates running to unseat Boebert next November. He is the only candidate so far to explicitly and publicly call for her resignation following her comments about Omar, though many of his competitors have denounced Boebert’s rhetoric.

Sol Sandoval, another Democratic 3rd District candidate from Pueblo, told The Pueblo Chieftain that it is “really heartbreaking to witness someone who is supposed to be representing us, someone who is supposed to be unifying the district have such hateful and divisive speech.”

Colin Wilhelm, a Democratic candidate for the 3rd District from Glenwood Springs, sent a letter to Omar apologizing for Boebert’s behavior, writing that her remarks do not “reflect the views or beliefs of the vast majority of western and southern Colorado.”

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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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