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  • Writer's pictureMario Nicolais

Is Kerry Donovan the right candidate against Lauren Boebert, but in the wrong year?

Right candidate, wrong year.

Just over a month after firebrand U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert took her congressional oath of office, state Sen. Kerry Donovan announced her campaign to unseat Colorado’s most recent right-wing lightning rod.

Donovan may have missed her opportunity by about a year.

Nearly a decade ago, several high-profile Democrats passed on the opportunity to campaign against then U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in 2012. After Joe Miklosi lost by only two points, former state Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff decided to try his luck in 2014 and state Senate Minority Leader Morgan Carroll did the same in 2016. Both lost by significantly larger margins.

It turns out they missed their best chance — just as Donovan may have done watching from the sidelines in 2020.

In December 2019 I wrote that “Boebert poses a very credible threat to [then five-term incumbent, Scott] Tipton” despite the political class consensus that Tipton would brush her away. Boebert’s rhetoric energized the vocal base of the party that plays an outsized influence during primary campaigns.

At the time I suggested that the crop of Democrats ready to take advantage of an upset, including eventual Democratic nominee Diane Mitsch Bush, seemed sorely uninspired. I felt they needed a much stronger candidate and highlighted Donovan as one potential answer.

But that was 2020.

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