Colorado Democrat Adam Frisch, who failed to unseat far-right Rep. Lauren Boebert by just 546 votes last year, announced Tuesday that he would seek a 2024 rematch. Despite Boebert’s national infamy and terrible relationship with her party leadership, though, Frisch will be in for another challenging campaign as he tries to flip a western Colorado district that Donald Trump took 53-45.
Boebert, an election denier who called the Jan. 6 committee a “sham witch hunt” and implied that Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar was a terrorist, spent her first term infuriating Democrats and even some Republicans. The congresswoman, however, looked secure last cycle after the state’s new independent redistricting commission adopted new lines that extended Trump’s margin of victory in her already red 3rd District, a map that led her most prominent Democratic foe, state Sen. Kerry Donovan, to end her campaign.
Frisch, who served on the Aspen City Council, consequently looked like a longshot after he won the June primary. While Boebert’s national infamy helped Frisch raise about $3 million through mid-October, major outside groups on both sides behaved like Boebert was safe and spent elsewhere. It was therefore a massive surprise when Frisch ended election night with a tiny edge over the incumbent, though later counted ballots ultimately left her with a 50.1-49.9 victory.
Boebert still very nearly paid a price for her extremism, and Team Blue’s strong showings at the top of the ballot also made things unexpectedly tough for her. According to preliminary calculations from Daily Kos Elections, Gov. Jared Polis actually carried the 3rd by a 49-47 margin, while Sen. Michael Bennet only lost it by 49-48.
Boebert, however, responded to her near loss by refusing to ever support Kevin McCarthy for speaker. That didn’t sit right with Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a fellow far-right icon who nevertheless has had a terrible relationship with Boebert for a while. (Politico reported last year that the two almost got into a physical fight when Boebert went after Greene about the Georgian’s appearance at a white supremist event.) Greene, according to the Daily Beast, confronted her colleague on the first day of the new Congress in a Capitol bathroom, with one source relaying, “Greene questioned Boebert’s loyalty to McCarthy, and after a few words were exchanged, Boebert stormed out.”
McCarthy took a more diplomatic tact with Boebert, though, and he personally appealed to her on the House floor during the final night of voting. The best he got was for Boebert to vote “present” on the last two ballots rather than for another House member, but that was good enough: McCarthy went on to award Boerbert with a seat on the Oversight and Accountability Committee.
Frisch is once again betting that Boebert’s antics will hold her back in an area where Republicans usually do well, declaring in his announcement video that the incumbent is “an election denier who encouraged the attack on the Capitol and wants to make all abortions illegal, even for rape and incest.” Frisch continues, “I’ll put Colorado first—Colorado energy, Colorado water, and Colorado jobs.” The candidate’s wife, Katy Frisch, adds, “Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Lauren Boebert. Boebert is the only one of the crazies in Congress that can be beaten.”