Oct 19, 2022 - Politics

1-minute voter guide: Yadira Caraveo and Barbara Kirkmeyer fight to represent Colorado's new District 8

Photo illustration of state Rep. Yadira Caraveo and state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer with a halftone dividing line

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos courtesy the campaigns of Rep. Yadira Caraveo and state Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer

Yadira Caraveo and Barbara Kirkmeyer are chasing history, seeking to become the first representative for the 8th Congressional District.

Of note: The district was created due to the state's population boom.

Why it matters: By far the most competitive Congressional seat in Colorado, whoever wins this seat will bolster their party's chances at controlling the U.S. House.

  • The district, just north of Denver, includes suburbs like Commerce City and Northglenn, north to Greeley — the 10th largest city in the state.

Meet the candidates: Caraveo grew up in the district and now represents it in the Legislature.

  • Caraveo, a pediatrician in Adams County, has degrees from Regis University and the University of Colorado's medical school.

Kirkmeyer, a state Senator, is a fourth-generation Coloradan. She previously served as Weld County commissioner.

  • Kirkmeyer has a degree from the University of Colorado.

Where they stand: Abortion is a key issue in this race.

  • Caraveo, a pediatrician in Adams County, supports a woman's right to choose, while Kirkmeyer opposes abortion, with limited exceptions. Caraveo backed the Colorado bill codifying abortion access in Colorado, while Kirkmeyer voted no.

Inflation and cost of living are other major issues in the district.

  • Caraveo told the Denver Post she would focus on actions to lower costs and make life "more affordable" to Coloradans if she's elected to Congress and her party holds the majority. She noted lowering taxes for middle-class families and small businesses as one way to do this.
  • Kirkmeyer similarly said getting cost of living under control would be a top priority by reducing deficit spending and increasing supply of affordable goods and services. She supports increasing energy sector jobs to "restore energy independence."

Between the lines: As state lawmakers, both candidates supported increasing spending for police departments, and spending money on programs expanding education opportunities and tax credits for teachers.

  • Caraveo backed a controversial bill lowering the threshold for felony charges related to fentanyl possession, while Kirkmeyer opposed the bill because she felt it didn't go far enough.
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