Kerry Donovan challenging Lauren Boebert for Congress

State Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Vail Democrat, filed paperwork Wednesday to challenge U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in 2022.

Donovan is the third Democrat to announce a challenge against Boebert during the congresswoman’s controversial first month in office. Gregg Smith, a rancher and former Marine from Westcliffe whose initial tweets about his entry into the race went viral, and Colin Wilhelm, a Glenwood Springs attorney, are also running.

Donovan has been in the legislature for six years and said last month that she was considering a congressional run in 2022. The state senator has been an outspoken critic of Boebert, a Silt Republican who has drawn much attention in her one month in office.

Boebert represents the 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses nearly half of Colorado, including the Western Slope, southern Colorado, Pueblo and many of the ski towns in between. It does not currently include Vail, but may after district lines are redrawn later this year in accordance with 2020 census results. Representatives do not have to live in a district in order to hold office.

Donovan operates her family’s ranch in Eagle County and served on the Vail Town Council before joining the General Assembly in 2014. She easily won re-election in 2018 with 60% of votes over Republican challenger Olen Lund.

“Kerry Donovan is simply a knockoff version of Elizabeth Warren, the candidate she endorsed for president,” said Joe Jackson, spokesman for the Colorado Republican Party, in a statement.

“We look forward to beating Senator Donovan in the general election, if she manages to get that far,” Jackson added

Donovan, president pro tempore of the Colorado Senate, has been looking to ascend. She unsuccessfully sought the job of Colorado Senate president two years ago and considered running for U.S. House or U.S. Senate in 2020. Her husband, Shad Murib, is U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper‘s state director.

Donovan is near the ideological middle of the state Senate Democratic caucus and has a reputation for getting along well with Republicans. Her latest legislative undertaking is a push to create a public health insurance option, which could be a top priority during the state’s 2021 legislative session.

Staff writer Alex Burness contributed to this report.

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