Meet the Democratic candidate trying to unseat Rep. Lauren Boebert

On the heels of a narrow Democratic primary victory, Adam Frisch is preparing to explain to Colorado — and the nation — why he thinks his bid for the state’s 3rd Congressional District against incumbent Lauren Boebert deserves let’s pay attention to it.

“We think it deserves a race for national attention because it’s so vocal, so extreme, and so electorally vulnerable,” Frisch, 54, told Colorado Newsline. “We’re going to argue that there’s a moderate Democrat who wants to go and work in a bipartisan way.”

Frisch, a former Aspen City Councilman and small-business owner, secured the district’s Democratic nomination in the June primary, beating Sol Sandoval by a few hundred votes. He entered the race relatively late — he launched his primary campaign in February compared to Sandoval’s year-long effort — and fueled the campaign with his personal wealth and a few thousand miles of driving time to put his face in front of voters in the sprawling district that encompasses the Western Slope, the San Luis Valley and the Eastern Hooks in Pueblo County.

He emerged victorious, but now faces a much tougher battle when he takes on Boebert in the general election in November. The district has a 9-point Republican advantage after last year’s redistricting process, according to an analysis by redistricting commission staff.

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Shortly after his primary victory, Frisch traveled to Washington, D.C. and New York to meet with national party figures and others in an effort to boost his profile and attract donors.

“I am fully aware that we are rowing upstream when it comes to national conversations,” he said. “But the reason I can look people in the eye and say we have a way to victory is because of Lauren Boebert’s outlandish antics and lack of focus.”

Boebert has earned a reputation as one of the most conservative members of Congress and has drawn controversy over actions such as Islamophobic remarks and the interruption of President Joe Biden during his state of the art address. Union.

Frisch’s motivation to seek employment

Frisch was born in North Dakota and spent the first five years of his life on a Native American reservation in Montana, where his father worked in public health. He grew up ski racing and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he graduated in 1990 with a degree in economics and political science.

He worked in finance in New York and moved to Aspen in 2003 with his wife, Katie. He served on the Aspen City Council from 2011 to 2019 and said he was most proud of his work on affordable housing and serving the local small business community during his tenure.

Frisch began looking at the numbers last fall to inform his decision whether or not to run for the congressional district, sparked by an inflammatory remark made by Boebert (he couldn’t remember which one). He saw his 51% victory in 2020 and the anti-Trump organizations that have sprung up since 2016, and thought the right candidate could convince enough Boebert voters to change in light of his performance in Congress.

“Maybe all the morons who think about running for office think ‘Only me’, but I looked around and thought ‘Who else could really do it? “”, Did he declare. He said he saw no path to victory for the other Democratic candidates in a constituency made up of about 24% Democratic voters, 31% Republican voters and 43% unaffiliated voters.

When his son and wife told him they thought he would have a chance to win, he said he wasn’t sure the Democratic Party was looking for a “successful, middle-aged businessman , white and straight, let alone from Aspen” to take on Boebert, especially in a district with a large rural and Hispanic population.

“But I thought about it a bit more. I make up for my lack of intelligence in building good relationships and building coalitions and moving the ball forward,” he said.

Republican U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado speaks during a debate against Republican Colorado State Senator Don Coram at the Sky Ute Resort and Casino in Ignacio on May 26, 2022. (William Woody for Colorado Newsline)

Frisch said he thinks his balance of moderation and pragmatism will appeal to many of those disgruntled Boebert voters.

His numbers game initiated by Boebert’s narrow 2020 victory was bolstered last month by the district primary result, he said, when about 55% of voters chose a candidate other than Boebert. In the Republican primary, the state challenger, Sen. Don Coram, garnered about 36% of the vote, which Frisch sees as an opportunity. Not all Coram voters will vote for him, but some might.

“We will go after those Don Coram voters,” he said. “I think a third of them won’t talk to a Democrat no matter what. But I believe others will sit down with me for lunch and listen to me tell my story, talk about how rural America has been left behind by both sides, and that we want someone who will focus on the district and take the job seriously.

Frisch will have to perform some impressive political gymnastics, however, to get closer to Boebert when it comes to name recognition and fundraising. Boebert’s national profile is also attracting domestic dollars. According to the latest Federal Election Commission filings, Boebert had about $2.3 million in cash, compared to Frisch’s $570,000. Boebert also has the financial benefit of contributions from national super PACs and money left over from his first campaign. Frisch loaned himself more than $2 million during the primary campaign, which no doubt helped boost his profile with voters and land the nomination.

Frisch said his campaign would not hesitate to tell his story nationally and in Democratic stronghold cities to raise funds, but he is also confident he will be able to raise a greater proportion of money from Coloradans than Boebert. His connections in a wealthy city like Aspen, where potential donors vacation and might be interested in congressional representation in the area, could also be helpful.

“We don’t think resources would be the reason we fail against Boebert. Our team has the financial means to do it,” he said.

A focus on inflation, water and rural interests

Frisch said his top legislative priorities in Congress would be to strengthen the economy and reduce inflation, focusing on water issues and expanding rural services.

He said he wanted to focus on the rural aspects of “big and voluminous” policy areas such as health care and education. He noted the shrinking hospital and mental health services in rural Colorado counties over the past decade and wants to work with other representatives from rural parts of the country to figure out how to put those interests back in the conversation.

“Instead of spending time on Twitter or cable news networks or Mar-a-Lago, I think a lot of the groundwork is done at the subcommittee and committee level. I know that’s not what Lauren Boebert is focusing on. We’re going to focus on the boring, tedious work on really important issues,” he said.

He said he recognizes that inflation and the economy are likely to be huge driving forces in this election, and that his business experience and understanding of economics would make him an excellent problem solver in this area. .

Frisch said he wants to be part of the Problem Solvers Caucus if elected, which has members from both parties and is committed to finding common ground on issues. However, Frisch said he would not compromise on access to reproductive health care following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

“It’s important to realize that the conversation isn’t going to be about whether the abortion is going to happen or not,” he said. “It will be about how safe and accessible they are and the equity aspect of that. It is important to stand firm and ensure that women have access to health care across the country.

Frisch plans to hit the road soon in his “Beat Boebert Buggy” to visit voters throughout the district. Voters can learn more about its platform and upcoming events online at adamforcolorado.com.