When Republican Lauren Boebert was first elected to Congress in 2020, unaffiliated voters carried her to victory — and she will need their support again this year to win a second term.
Indeed, 44% of active registered voters in Boebert’s GOP-leaning 3rd congressional district, which stretches the western slope to Pueblo and southern Colorado, are unaffiliated, while 31% are Republicans. and 24% are Democrats.
In the spring of 2021, The Colorado Sun partnered with 3rd District news outlets to interview randomly selected unaffiliated voters represented by Boebert. to get a sense of their thoughts on the MP’s performance during her first months in office. As Boebert fights for re-election this year against Democrat Adam Frischa former Aspen city councilman, we called those same voters back to hear what they think of the congresswoman now after two years in Washington, D.C., and all the controversies she was at the center of.
Here’s what we heard:
Richard Hirano, 59, Craig
Hirano, a copier technician, said in 2021 that he could not remember if he had voted for Boebert in 2020, but had not voted for his Democratic opponent that year. He is undecided whether he will support her in 2022.
“I don’t love anyone now,” he said. “I think our freedoms are under attack, I don’t like either party.”
Hirano said the main issues that concern him are the economy and inflation, and government-mandated shutdowns like those enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he also sees abortion restrictions as a limit on freedom.
“I think Boebert is a bit crazy,” he said. “But I don’t think the other side has better options. I’m just sick of them attacking each other. I just wish they would do something for our country.
Hirano was a Republican but decided to become an unaffiliated voter after the Patriot Act passed in 2001, he said. The legislation, born out of the September 11 attacks, expanded law enforcement’s ability to surveil people and increased penalties for terrorism and terrorism-related crimes.
“I just think she’s way off the bottom sometimes,” he said. “She looks like she’s trying to argue that we need to be governed by religious beliefs.”
He added: “I personally think we just have to clean the slate and try to get better candidates who aren’t so partisan.”
Joshua Burt, 44, Storage
In 2021, Burt, a former oil rig driller, told The Sun that Boebert was sometimes “a little too extreme” but he felt she was a good person and he voted for her in 2020. He said he didn’t see her as being too extreme anymore.
“I think the whole Republican Party is not extreme enough,” he said. “It’s time to say ‘no, that’s enough’. You can’t indoctrinate our children, you can’t push pornography into our schools.
Burt also said he liked Boebert’s support for the oil and gas industry and his stance on immigration.
“She’s done amazing things, I love her stance on our gun rights,” he said. “And I love that she keeps calling those (expletive) morons for what they are.”
Burt said he was still an unaffiliated voter, but aside from voting for Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet in 2016, he tends to support Republicans.
“Hopefully Colorado gets back to purple where it’s supposed to be,” he said.
Marilyn Morris, 70, Pueblo
Morris voted for Boebert in 2020. This year she voted for Frisch — primarily, she said, because he was the only other option.
“I don’t like the way she behaves in Congress,” Morris said. “It’s disrespectful, and I wouldn’t vote for her for that reason alone.”
We didn’t speak to Morris as part of our 2021 story on Boebert and unaffiliated voters. We reached out to her for this story—chosen, again, from a list of voters randomly selected from the voter registry—because we wanted to get a vote from Pueblo, one of two population centers in the 3rd District. .
Morris said she voted about half Republican and half Democrat in her ballot this year.
In 2020, Morris said Boebert seemed like the lesser of two evils. But she doesn’t like the way Boebert spent his two years in Washington.
“She lies all the time,” Morris said, “so I just don’t trust her.”
Max Lord, 30, Aspen
Since The Sun last spoke with Lord, a music producer, he has decided to switch from being an unaffiliated voter to registering as a Republican. In 2020 he voted for Boebert, and he has already voted for her again this year.
“I actually appreciate a lot of the things she does and I’m happy to have her as my representative,” he said. “She continues to champion Second Amendment rights and keep American traditions and values at the forefront of her campaign.”
Lord also said he liked that Boebert fought for the water rights of ranchers in the district.
“I think very highly of Adam (Frisch), I think he’s a great guy,” he said, “but Lauren represents a lot more of what our district represents as a whole, not just Aspen.”
Boebert may not be perfect, he said, but he’s happy to be represented by someone who speaks out.
“I don’t agree with everything she’s said publicly, but overall those negative things are outweighed by the good for me,” he said.
Overall, Lord said he was tired of the two-party system. Although he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, a traditionally conservative view, he also does not want to see the right to abortion taken away.
Stephanie Cooper, 39, Grand Junction
Although Cooper has conservative values, she will not support Boebert this election. (She told us in 2021 that she couldn’t remember if she backed her in 2020.)
“I just feel like she’s more focused on paying attention than getting things done,” she said. “And rather than taking the time to come to the table with her constituents or anyone who opposes her,” Boebert just seems to want “her voice to be heard.”
Cooper said she felt Frisch understood the needs of Coloradans better, but his views were still too liberal for her. She plans to register a candidate to represent the 3rd congressional district when she fills out her 2022 ballot.
“I don’t plan to vote for many Republicans,” she said. “There are other people and other groups that I probably align more with. And if I feel stuck if it’s just between a Democrat and a Republican and I don’t agree…I am not going to vote.
Anthony Medved, 38, Durango
Medved, a building inspector, told us in 2021 that he doesn’t remember voting in the 2020 3rd District race, but he definitely opposed Boebert in 2022, calling her “a terrible politician from right”.
“I think she cares more about her personality than making a difference in this world,” he said.
Medved said he didn’t believe Boebert was representing Colorado and making America look “awful.”
“She needs to be relieved of her responsibilities and I will encourage everyone I speak to to vote against her and her radical thoughts and actions,” he said.
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