U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert will face a Republican challenger in Colorado's June primary election after state election officials announced Tuesday that state Sen. Don Coram submitted enough valid signatures on nominating petitions.
The Montrose lawmaker said he's anxious to put up his record of delivering results for the Western Slope against what his campaign described as Boebert's "embarrassing juvenile antics on the national stage."
Out of the nearly 2,000 signatures Coram's campaign turned in last month, the Colorado Secretary of State's Office said 1,536 were valid — more than the 1,500 signatures required for Colorado congressional candidates to advance to the June 28 primary.
Boebert won top-line designation in the primary last week at the GOP's 3rd Congressional District assembly in Colorado Springs, where delegates expressed overwhelming support for her in a voice vote.
Three Democrats are running in their party's primary in the Republican-leaning district, which encompasses most of the Western Slope, Pueblo County, the San Luis Valley and swaths of southern Colorado. Pueblo activist Sol Sandoval was the lone candidate to emerge last week from the Democrats' district assembly, while Eagle County resident Alex Walker and former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch have qualified by petition.
Coram, who launched his campaign in early January, said in a statement that he is grateful to supporters who signed his petition and have backed his candidacy.
“This has been a true grassroots campaign," he said.
“I look forward to setting the record straight on the lies Lauren Boebert and her supporters have peddled," Coram added, referring to a stream of attacks unleashed by Boebert and her allies. "I will make the case to primary voters as to why I am the most qualified candidate to represent them and their families."
Added Coram: "Enough is enough! Let’s make Lauren’s first term in Congress her last.”
Using a derisive nickname for Coram that has figured prominently in Boebert's campaign material, the Boebert campaign took a swing at her rival in an email to Colorado Politics.
"Don Coram is a corrupt liberal who buddies up to Democrats every chance he gets," her campaign said. "Corrupt Coram will be soundly defeated in the Republican primary because Congresswoman Lauren Boebert is the only conservative in this race."
Boebert, owner of a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, unseated five-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton in the 2020 Republican primary and has since become one of former President Donald Trump's loudest congressional supporters.
Republican Marina Zimmerman, a first-time candidate from Archuleta County, said Monday that she is ending her primary challenge against Boebert after failing to make the ballot at assembly and deciding against running as a write-in candidate.
"If Coram's signatures are validated and he is on the primary ballot, we must all stand behind him to make sure Lauren Boebert does not make it to the general election," Zimmerman wrote Monday in a tweet that was later deleted. "I urge all my supporters to join this effort."
Editor's note: This story has been updated with a comment from Boebert's campaign.