DENVER — As Colorado's 2022 general election returns began to post minutes after the polls closed on Nov. 8, none were more surprising than initial results showing Democrat Adam Frisch beating U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, the Republican incumbent in the largely rural, Republican-leaning 3rd Congressional District.
Elsewhere on the state's ballot, Democratic incumbents were cruising to wins up and down the ticket, including by margins unseen in statewide races for decades, but hardly anyone had Boebert's bid for a second term on their radar.
Boebert won election to the seat two years ago by 6 percentage points after stunning the district's five-term GOP representative a few months earlier in the primary. The brash Second Amendment advocate — she used to own a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle — has careened from one spectacle to the next, whether it was clashing with Capitol Police after setting off metal detectors outside the House chamber or heckling President Joe Biden during this year's State of the Union Address.
Her challenger, a wealthy Aspen businessman and former member of the ski resort town's city council, ran as an antidote to Boebert, saying he would focus on representing the district rather than chasing cable news hits and controversy.
In an interview with Colorado Politics, Frisch reflected on his campaign, what he hopes national Democrats learn from his run and what could be next. Boebert's campaign didn't respond to a request for an interview with the congresswoman.
"I think one of the reasons we did well is people saw me as authentic and sincere in an environment that's not always looked upon that way," Frisch said. "And I know that the chances of more than a handful of votes changing in the Colorado state election process was almost zilch."
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