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Big shakeup takes place in Colorado's Congressional districts with incumbent Republicans

Big shakeup takes place in Colorado's Congressional districts with incumbent Republicans
Big shakeup takes place in Colorado's Congressional districts with incumbent Republicans 13:32

In the span of just a few months, there has been a big shakeup in the three Colorado congressional districts with incumbent Republicans.


In November, Rep. Ken Buck, who represents Colorado's 4th Congressional District, announced he's resigning at the end of his term. He said Republican leaders are "focused on contrived injustices like a stolen election instead of the real problems facing our country."

Rep. Lauren Boebert CBS

Then Rep. Lauren Boebert, who represents Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, announced in December that she was switching from CD3 to CD4 and is now in the running to replace Buck. She said she needed a fresh start after a difficult year. But the truth is CD4 is far more conservative than CD3, where Boebert barely won reelection in 2022. Boebert's new district voted for President Donald Trump by a nearly 20 percentage point margin in 2020, more than double the margin in her old district.


This month Rep. Doug Lamborn, who represents Colorado's 5th Congressional District, followed Buck's lead and said he would be retiring from CD5, saying it was just time for a change.

All three of Colorado's Republican-controlled Congressional seats are now open, and the outcome of the upcoming Republican primaries could wind up defining the Republican Party in the Centennial State for years. And there are moderate Republicans and far-right Republicans in each of the primary races.

"How do you see the primaries playing out? Will we have MAGA or moderate Republicans?" CBS News Colorado Political Specialist Shaun Boyd asked Republican analyst Dick Wadhams. "Which of these candidates will we have representing Colorado?"

"That's the thing, we're going into 2026 when this election is over where governor, senator, attorney general are all up," Wadhams said. "If we don't start bringing this party back in 2024 -- and this is the opportunity to do it by electing some strong, mainstream Republicans to Congress. ... If we elect Lauren Boebert in CD4 and Dave Williams in the 5th or Ron Hanks (in CD3), if that's our delegation after this election, you can just put a shovel of dirt on the Republican Party."

"I honestly think, though, what's going to happen is this: we're going to get three solid, mainstream Republicans elected in all three districts and that's going to set the stage for hopefully some sort of comeback. It's not good for Colorado to be a one-party state. We need to come back."

The narrow margin in Congress leaves both major parties fighting fiercely for every available seat in 2024 and Boebert's move probably gives the GOP a better chance to win both CD3 and CD4. But first she'll have to take on at least nine other Republicans for her party's nomination.

Adam Frisch, the Democrat who nearly ousted Boebert in 2022, is running for election in CD3 again and poses a threat to Republicans' hopes of holding the three seats they currently have in the state's congressional delegation.

"The (3rd) race was considered a toss-up before Boebert got out and switched to the 4th. So now the leading Republican in the primary is a well-respected attorney: Jeff Hurd. ... So what are (Frisch's) chances now?" Boyd asked CBS News Colorado Democratic analyste Mike Dino.

"Adam Frisch has raised $10 million. That's a big deal. (Boebert's announcement) changes the dynamics, no doubt about that. Actually, I think it fits better for Anna Stout, the Grand Junction City Council president who's running for the Democratic nomination, too," Dino said. "But (Frisch) has raised a lot of money, he's got great name recognition and I do think if Trump is the nominee for the Republicans, that's going to make it a very competitive race."

"I think the Republicans are breathing a little easier (after Boebert's decision), and they should, but that's a lot of money on hand and Frisch is going to put it to good use."

Number crunchers, political experts and the National Republican Campaign Committee generally agree that Boebert's exodus will give Republicans a better chance to retain that district - though newly elected NRCC Chair Rep. Richard Hudson said the organization had no hand in the decision.

Frisch said he's still plugging ahead with the same bipartisan platform he did before.

Hurd - a mild-mannered conservative in the old GOP tradition, says his goal is "making local headlines, not national headlines."

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