Colorado presents some interesting dilemmas for Centrist Independent Voters. Because Colorado allows “unaffiliated registrants” (a large voting block) to vote in either party’s primary, it provides an interesting illustration of the Centrist Independent Voter strategy. To put it as succinctly as possible we suggest: prune the field of extremists. We view this as far more important than trying to assure the victory of whichever party you favor.
The U.S. Senate
Michael Bennet is the incumbent and is running unopposed in the Democratic Primary.
There are three candidates running in the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate: Ron Hanks, Joe O’Dea, and Daniel Hendricks (a write-in candidate). Ron Hanks holds an extreme pro-life position (no exceptions) and is a supporter of the “Big Lie” theory that Trump won the 2022 election. Joe O’Dea is reliably conservative but more moderate on abortion rights and he does not believe that Trump won the 2020 election. Hendricks is a mystery to us but he is unlikely to play a role as a relatively unknown write-in candidate. The Centrist Independent Voter endorsement in this primary goes to O’Dea.
There is a complexity here and it illustrates our philosophy with regard to voting in the primaries. There is a charge that a Super PAC, associated with the Democratic Party is trying to promote the candidacy of Ron Hanks. The theory is that this PAC believes that Hanks will be a weaker candidate against Michael Bennet in the general election because Hanks is so extreme. This strategy, which some people believe played a role in Trump’s early successes in Republican primaries in 2016, is playing with fire.
The best hope for our democracy is that we populate the general election with moderate candidates from both parties and let the chips fall where they may. There is just too much at risk to allow extremists of either the right or the left show up in the general election. A candidate’s health can change, scandals emerge, and moods shift. We are all better off if the general election ballot is a contest of moderates who lean right or left but are reasonable people.
The U.S. House of Representatives
As I have mentioned before, the Centrist Independent Voter does not, currently, have the resources to cover all congressional races. For that reason we have been concentrating on the races for the U.S. Senate. Colorado is an exception because Rep. Lauren Boebert, from Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, is so extremely right wing. She is in the Centrist Independent Voter’s Rogues Gallery of candidates we could never endorse. Her involvement in the events surrounding the attack on the Capitol on January 6th were enough for her to make this list, but she also opposed aid to Ukraine, and opposed the bi-partisan infrastructure bill.
Her opponent is Don Coram. Coram appears to be a classical conservative Republican, principally focused on issues of concern for Colorado. The Centrist Independent Voter endorsement goes to Coram.
Unaffiliated registrants who vote in the Republican primary will have to forgo voting in the Democratic primary. Since Bennet is unopposed in the Senate race this does not matter. There are, however, three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for the District 3 House seat. They are: Adam Frisch, Sol Sandoval, and Alex Walker. Of these, Adam Frisch gets our endorsement. Frisch has promised to join the Problem Solvers Caucus in the House, which is a major factor in his favor.
Of course, the decision to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary will depend on a lot of other issues, including races for other offices and ballot resolutions, if any. Putting those aside, our recommendation is that Republican and unaffiliated registrants vote in the Republican primary for Joe O’Dea for Senate and Don Coram (if you are in District 3) for the House. If you are a registered Democrat, we endorse Michael Bennet for Senate and Adam Frisch (if you are in District 3) for the House.