Even with all her national name recognition, U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) apparently doesn’t believe her quest to represent a new congressional district in Colorado is a sure thing.

Boebert hit the campaign trail last night for a meet-and-greet in Springfield, in the far southeast corner of Colorado in Baca County — about as far away from Boebert’s hometown of Rifle as you can get in the state.

Boebert posted a video on Facebook yesterday, telling Baca County Republicans that she was “so looking forward to getting to meet you tonight at the LongHorn Steakhouse.”

“I’m on my way, and I’ll see ya soon,” Boebert said in the video, which pictured her in a car.

Boebert announced in late December that she would not run for a third term in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District (CD3), but would move to the 4th District (CD4), which is located largely on the other side of the state.

Larry Forgey, the chair of the Baca County Republican Party, said he hopes Boebert will compete for votes at the district assembly level, rather than collect signatures to get on the June 25 primary ballot.

“If she doesn’t go the assembly route,” said Forgey, a rancher and harvest hauler, “no way will I support her.”

Meanwhile, the eastern Colorado counties of Phillips, Yuma, and Sedgwick are working together to create a candidate debate on March 3 in Holyoke.

“That’s right before our March 7 caucus,” said Steve Brown, chairman of the Phillips County GOP. “Our voters need more information about all our candidates.”

Mike Benson, chairman of the Sedgwick GOP, said he hasn’t heard from anyone in the Boebert campaign office but has heard from other candidates.

“I’m not real happy with her decision to compete out here. She’s an outsider and how many people does she know out here? We have a total of nine people Republicans running for Buck’s seat, and I know three of them. This could be a real blood-bath,” he warned.

Boebert has faced criticism from both Republican and Democratic candidates in both her new and old districts. She’s been called a quitter in the 3rd District and an opportunistic carpetbagger in the 4th. Yet her $1.4 million campaign war chest could give her a leg-up on her eight GOP primary opponents. 

Colorado’s 4th Congressional District is composed of eastern plains counties, plus parts of the Front Range, such as parts of Boulder, Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, and Larimer counties. As a result, 72.9% of the population is urban and 27.1 percent rural, yet the Cook Partisan Report rates the district as the most Republican in the largely blue state of Colorado.

No Democratic candidate has earned more than 40 percent of the vote in CD4 since 2010.

“This district has very different characteristics between rural and suburban residents, but we all want limited government,” said Steve Peck, chairman of the Douglas Republican Party.

His county constitutes almost half of the district’s 748,891 residents. In terms of voter registration, Douglas County is a Republican stronghold, with 95,000 Republicans, 50,000 Democrats and 125,000 unaffiliated.

Over the past two months, this normally uneventful political environment was rocked by two announcements:

First, incumbent U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who had held the seat since 2014, said he would not seek re-election for a sixth term, citing Congress’ inability to get anything done, and the party-wide fixation on election conspiracies.

Then Boebert announced that she would run for Buck’s seat.

Boebert had barely eked out a win in the 2022 election by 546 votes, over her novice Democratic opponent Adam Frisch. Since then, he’d outraised Boebert in campaign donations, almost three-to-one, while she suffered political blowback for her antics at a Denver play production. Boebert’s move looked to many like a safer bet than staying and possibly losing an election in the 3rd District.

Other Republicans in the CD4 race include talk radio host Deborah Flora, former state lawmaker Ted Harvey, state Representatives Richard Holtorf and Mike Lynch, Justin Schreiber, Logan County Commissioner Jerry Sonnenberg, and businessman Peter Yu.