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Candidate for congressional seat arrested on multiple felony charges

The candidate for Colorado's newly-formed 8th Congressional District has been charged with felonies including multiple counts of identity theft.

DENVER — A candidate running for Congress caught the immediate interest of one group: law enforcement officers, who were looking for Joshua Jered Rodriguez on an open warrant.

The Democrat running for Colorado's newly-formed 8th Congressional District has been charged with felonies including multiple counts of identity theft and attempting to influence a public servant.

The alleged crimes happened in October and December of 2020, according to court documents. A warrant was issued in May of last year after a scheduled hearing.

Deputies booked Rodriguez, of Arvada, into Jefferson County's jail on Thursday. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office told 9NEWS he was in their jail for about two hours. It's unclear if he turned himself in to authorities or if he was found and arrested.

Rodriguez switched to the Democratic Party on Feb. 4, though he named his campaign website "Joshua for Unity" and initially filed to run on Jan. 30 with his party registered as "Other." 

The Unity Party of Colorado told 9NEWS he is not considered a Unity Party candidate. 

"He had limited involvement with the Unity Party back in 2019, and did not run for office in 2020," Eric Bodenstab, chairman of Unity Party of Colorado, said. "While the judicial process is pending, he will not be nominated by the Unity Party in April for any office."

Rodriguez is one of several Democrats running in the district. There will also be a crowded GOP primary.

The primary election is scheduled for June 28.

Rodriguez previously ran for Arvada City Council and mayor of Arvada.

In 2018, 9NEWS reported that a woman in Arvada claimed Rodriguez had made a fake endorsement from her for his city council campaign.

Rodriguez sued 9NEWS anchor Kyle Clark and 9NEWS' parent company for the report. His lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed.

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