Nov 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Democrat Adam Frisch concedes to GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert

Rep. Lauren Boebert, wearing a turqouis dress, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.). Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Democrat Adam Frisch conceded Friday to rival Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), a high-profile conservative firebrand and ally of former President Trump.

Driving the news: AP has not called the race yet as of early Friday afternoon. But with 99% of votes counted, Boebert had 50.1% of the vote and Frisch had 49.9%.

  • In a video message, Frisch said that although such a small margin triggers an automatic recount in Colorado's election system, he is not asking for one.
  • "The likelihood of this recount changing more than a handful of votes is very small," he said. "It'd be disingenuous and unethical for us, or any other group, to continue to raise false hope and encourage fundraising for recount. Colorado elections are safe, accurate and secure."

Why it matters: Boebert's narrow win in a district that voted for former President Trump by 8 points in 2020 was one of the most surprising results of the midterm elections.

  • Polling last month suggested Boebert faced a strong challenger in the little-known Frisch, though analysts still rated her as a mostly safe bet for re-election.

The big picture: Boebert's weak showing fits a pattern of election deniers and Trump endorsees across the country struggling in competitive races compared to more conventional Republicans.

  • John Gibbs, of Michigan, and J.R. Majewski, of Ohio, both lost by double digits in districts that had been top targets for Republicans.
  • And in Washington's 3rd District, Republican Joe Kent lost in an upset to Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez after primarying Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), who won by double digits in 2020.

The backdrop: After successfully primarying a more establishment Republican incumbent in 2020, despite being the virtually unknown owner of a gun-themed restaurant, Boebert almost immediately became a controversy magnet in Congress.

  • As a member-elect just days before the Jan. 6 attack, she put out a digital ad vowing to carry her handgun in D.C., and has often been lumped together with Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).

By the numbers: Frisch, a city council member in the resort town of Aspen, managed to raise more than $3 million on top of $2.2 million in personal loans he made to his campaign, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

  • That follows a trend of Democrats raising huge sums by running against prominent right-wing Republicans like Boebert, Greene and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).
  • A darling of the conservative grassroots, Boebert easily kept pace, raising more than $6 million.

Go deeper: How election deniers are faring in key midterm races

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