Colorado state Rep. Donald Valdez (D) on Thursday announced that he will challenge Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) for her seat in 2022, calling the first-term congresswoman a “threat to democracy” and blaming her for helping incite the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
“What happened on January 6th wasn’t just an attack on the Capitol, it was an outright assault on our democracy. They threatened to hang members of Congress. Murdered a police officer,” Valdez said in an announcement video. “And Lauren Boebert? She egged them on. That’s why I’m running against her.”
As a Coloradan, I was horrified to see Lauren Boebert fan the flames of insurrection.
Now, I’m running for CO-3 to fight for truth and restore dignity to our district.
— Donald Valdez for Colorado (@DonaldValdezCO) February 18, 2021
Boebert, who has also expressed support for the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, has been sharply criticized for tweeting details of lawmakers’ locations during the Capitol breach. In a letter to congressional leadership shortly after the riot, 68 Colorado officials called for an investigation into Boebert’s actions before and during the siege.
Valdez, who works as a farmer and rancher in addition to his work in the legislature, emphasized his roots and presented himself as better suited to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District.
“Being a true steward of the land is in my blood,” he said in the video. “Wild conspiracy theories won’t protect our water, expand rural health care or improve our schools.”
Valdez, who also sought the Democratic nomination for the district in the 2020 cycle, is one of several Democrats vying to challenge Boebert.
At least five others are in the running for the Democratic nomination, including attorney Colin Wilhelm, rancher Gregg Smith and state Sen. Kerry Donovan (D), who represents the Vail area.
Boebert won the seat in 2020 against former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush (D) by about 6 points.