Kerry Donovan ends campaign to unseat Rep. Boebert, cites redistricting

By: - November 5, 2021 11:46 am

Phil Hester, right, and Bobbie Long wait in their camp chairs to vote at the Mesa County Central Services building in Grand Junction, on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Wait times were 20-30 minutes. (Barton Glasser for Colorado Newsline)

State Sen. Kerry Donovan suspended her campaign for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District on Friday, ending her bid to unseat Republican incumbent Rep. Lauren Boebert.

That decision came after Donovan was drawn out of the 3rd District in the state’s recently approved congressional maps. She suspended her campaign’s fundraising efforts in October when it looked likely that she wouldn’t remain in the district.


“While each $15 check in the mail with a memo ‘we believe in you’ or $20 donation at a meet and greet made me more committed by the day, the congressional maps failed to recognize the complexity of rural Colorado and instead divided communities, protected incumbents and ignored Coloradans’ voices. As a result, there is no viable path forward for me to remain in this race, and I have made the decision to suspend my campaign for Congress,” she said in a statement

Sen. Kerry Donovan represents the 5th District in the state Senate. (Colorado General Assembly)

Donovan was the frontrunner to win the Democratic primary and face Boebert in next year’s general election. She was also a formidable fundraiser, with almost $2 million in contributions and ending her campaign with over $600,000 in cash on hand. 

The new congressional map puts her residence in the 2nd Congressional District, currently represented by Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse. 

Her official exit from the race changes the dynamic of what will likely be a contentious, expensive election next year. The crowded field of Democratic challengers includes Sol Sandoval, an activist from Pueblo, and state Rep. Donald Valdez from La Jara. With Donovan’s fundraising suspension, Sandoval has tried to place herself as an alternative candidate for Democratic voters.

Sandoval called Donovan an “advocate and a champion” for the district.

“From Pueblo to Craig, we share the same values — a belief in opportunity, hard work, and family. This district needs someone in Washington willing to do the work to create good paying jobs, protect our water, save our schools, and bring back a thriving economy for rural Colorado, which is why I will fight to the last vote to win this election,” she said in a statement. 

Valdez also acknowledged Donovan’s exit, and tweeted that it was an “honor to compete with her in this primary.”

The new 3rd District looks similar to the old one, and includes most of the Western Slope, Grand Junction, the San Luis Valley and Pueblo. It has a 9-point Republican advantage, according to analysis from redistricting staff.


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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.