In January, Buentello sued the congresswoman in U.S. District Court, claiming Boebert violated Buentello’s First Amendment rights by blocking her on Twitter, which Boebert did in response to a tweet calling for his recall after January 6.
More recently, Buentello channeled her energies towards defeating Boebert in 2022. Earlier this year, she became co-chair of Rural Colorado United, a super PAC created in 2020 with the sole purpose of defeating Boebert and promoting her former state, his opponent at the time. Senator Diane Mitsch Bush. The PAC raised $ 314,490 from donors large and small, and some 2,000 volunteers joined the effort, which included posting billboards featuring Boebert’s photo and highlighting the multiple arrests and mandates she faced before entering politics. The effort was unsuccessful; neophyte Boebert defeated Mitsch Bush through 6 points. But, under Buentello, Rural Colorado United began to mount a door-to-door campaign in 2022 to mobilize Democrats in ski towns and independent voters across the Western Slope, the vast but sparsely populated region. mountainous and desert that covers most of its district.
“We sounded the alarm a year ago, Boebert was an imminent threat to our way of life,” said Buentello, who is also director of government affairs for a nonprofit in the field, recently. education, as she sat in front of Squawk, her favorite. independent cafe in Pueblo. “As far as I know, we pay her $ 180,000 a year to tweet and go to Fox News. The work she does is fundamentally disconnected from [the district] and our needs.
In addition to Buentello’s efforts, several Democrats have launched campaigns to challenge Boebert. The three in Pueblo are Democratic State Representative Donald Valdez, whose district includes part of Pueblo County; Sol Sandoval, a Pueblo-based community activist with close ties to the city’s nonprofits; and Susan Martinez, Certified Nursing Assistant. Boebert’s most formidable challenger to date is Democratic State Senator Kerry Donovan, who lives in the mountains in Vail, considerably closer to Boebert’s hometown of Rifle, and which raised nearly $ 644,000 in two months after he declared his candidacy in February. Collectively, the Democratic candidates raised $ 832,842 in the first quarter of the year — less than Boebert’s $ 846,000.
For candidates running to defeat Boebert in 2022, winning Pueblo voters is key to winning out support in Republican strongholds on the state’s western slope, and Democrats are already campaigning here. In a recent listening session on the sunny patio of a brewery bordering a grassy lot with an abandoned factory, Sandoval urged representatives from churches, universities, school systems, and Native American and Latin American communities to l ” help raise funds and publicize their campaign.
“From the moment I was born I already did not have the same opportunities as children born in a wealthier neighborhood,” said Sandoval, after about 15 participants told him they needed funds. to fight opioid addiction, serve transgender youth. and help immigrants. “And now I watch my kids go to an underfunded school. We need to change that. ”
In a previous interview, Sandoval said that while she was short of commitment to public service, her candidacy was also a reaction to Boebert. “When I think of Lauren Boebert, I think of that phrase ‘hat and no cattle’,” Sandoval said. “When she had the opportunity to support stimulus funding, she chose Trump over us. It is very frustrating.
At least one person at the Sandoval listening session who voted for Boebert said they were disappointed with her and planned to help Sandoval’s campaign. “I thought Lauren would be a great representative for small business owners because she owns a small business and she comes from a humble lifestyle,” said Gus Garcia, a political independent who also voted for Biden.