GOP candidates vying for the chance to oust U.S. Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-CO) tried to win the votes of fellow Republicans in Windsor, about an hour north of Denver, on Sunday by highlighting conservative elements of their biographies.


“I was born and raised here in Colorado. My mom chose to home school me for 12 years so I could get an education, rather than a politically correct agenda,” said state Rep. Gabe Evans (R-Ft. Lupton), saying his 10 years as a police officer in Jefferson and Adams Counties demonstrated to him the “failures of the leftist policies,” particularly in crime and education.

“What we see every day in Colorado is irreparable damage that is happening to our country and our state by an out-of-control left,” he told the crowd.

Evans was one of three GOP candidates at the event who’s running in the GOP primary in Colorado’s 8th Congressional District. A fourth, former state lawmaker Janak Joshi, was not present.

Another candidate at the event, which took place at the American Legion Post 109, was businessman Joe Andujo. He didn’t speak enough English to understand the words of the national anthem when he arrived in Colorado in 1976, thinking his classmates were singing “Jose can you see” instead of “Oh say can you see.” Later in his life, he lamented to the crowd, the national anthem was no longer sung in school. And now the pledge of allegiance is so controversial that it’s been “removed from some classrooms” and the American flag has “been replaced by LGBT flag in certain classrooms,” he said.

Weld County Commissioner Scott James emphasized, among other things, the human side of his deep connection to Weld County.


“I came to Windsor when I was in eighth grade, and I pinned Terry Weber in nine seconds; Terry hasn’t forgiven me since, but two years later he kicked my butt in football as a Valley Viking,” said James, when it was his turn to give a short stump speech. “We hung our heads and came back to play again another day. I’ve grown up on the farms and the ranches and the feed lots of Weld County. I know you. You know me. I am constant.”

James said “Washington DC” has forgotten about “faith,” “family,” “defending our southern border,” and the “nuclear family and the power that exists therein.”

Sunday night’s debate was sponsored by the Colorado Conservative Patriot Alliance, whose Facebook page has a recording of the night’s speeches, which included remarks from GOP candidates running in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District (CD4), which is located in eastern Colorado. The alliance’s Facebook page states, “No Apologies – No Retreat – No Surrender”

Unlike CD4, which will almost certainly be won by a Republican, Colorado’s 8th Congressional District, located in northern Colorado, is expected to be the battleground for one of the most competitive U.S. House races in the country. Caraveo, a physician and child of Mexican immigrants, won the seat, which was created in Colorado after the 2020 U.S. Census, in 2022 by 1,632 votes. A Libertarian candidate in the race had 9,280 votes.

More Colorado Times Recorder coverage of the CD8 race here.