Jul 10, 2023 - News

Colorado Rep. Yadira Caraveo attempts to carve out bipartisan path

U.S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Colo.) speaks at a press conference in January in Washington, D.C. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

One of Colorado's newest congressional members has found an unlikely ally on Capitol Hill.

Details: A bill co-introduced by Democratic U.S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo was co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) and supported by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

  • Caraveo's bill directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology to study a sedative called "tranq" — also known as the zombie drug, which has been found in Denver.
  • The largely uncontroversial bill received unanimous approval in both chambers and looks likely to be signed by President Biden this summer..

Why it matters: It illustrates how Caraveo, whose seat is targeted by national Republican groups hoping to flip it, is attempting to navigate her first year in Congress by courting bipartisan support — even from fierce conservatives like Cruz.

Catch up quick: Caraveo narrowly defeated Republican challenger Barbara Kirkmeyer last year to become the first person to represent the newly created 8th Congressional District, which stretches from the suburbs north of Denver up to Greeley.

The big picture: Caraveo, the first Latina elected to federal office in Colorado, tells us she's not concerned about her voting record or whether who she's working with in Congress will cost her votes come election time.

What they're saying: "I hope that people can look beyond whatever scary ad they're going to run and really concentrate on the fact that I'm trying to be pragmatic about this," Caraveo tells us from her office in Northglenn.

The other side: The National Republican Congressional Committee regularly blasts Caraveo in statements and in TV ads, calling her "extreme" for her party's spending in one recent ad.

  • "Under Biden's failing economy, it's clear Colorado Hispanics are realizing Caraveo isn't the one for them," NRCC Southeast Press Secretary Delanie Bomar said in a recent statement, citing an Axios poll showing Democratic Party support among Latinos is waning.

Reality check: Latinos in the district overwhelmingly backed Caraveo.

The intrigue: The Republican and Libertarian parties said last month they reached an agreement to keep Libertarian candidates out of competitive races, after Richard Ward pulled enough votes to prompt Kirkmeyer to say he had spoiled the contest.

What's next: No Republican challengers have announced their candidacy so far, though Kirkmeyer told the Colorado Sun in June she's considering another run.


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