Tuesday likely underscored a couple of key lessons for Democrats in Colorado’s massive, mostly rural 3rd Congressional District (CD3), which stretches from Pueblo to Grand Junction, leans nine points Republican, and may be up for grabs in November.

First, lean into immigration; don’t duck the hot topic. Second, go after the GOP for playing politics by caving to former President Donald Trump and killing a bipartisan border-security deal in the Senate while the House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Like Democrat Tom Suozzi in New York, who on Tuesday beat out a Republican to replace expelled former House Republican Rep. George Santos, Democrat Adam Frisch seems to have taken the immigration lessons to heart in Colorado’s 3rd, which is currently represented by MAGA, Great Replacement rockstar Lauren Boebert, who’s now running for a different congressional district (CD4) in eastern Colorado.


“As frustrated as I am with the inaction going back many months/years from the White House, impeaching a cabinet secretary for carrying out their duties/directives would weaken the importance of this constitutional option. Impeachment was not set up as a performance job review,” Frisch wrote of the 214-213 vote to impeach Mayorkas in an email statement Tuesday.

“Let alone this will do nothing to address the serious immigration issues that would be helped by implementing the recently failed bipartisan bill, that I would have supported,” added Frisch, who lost to Boebert by just 546 votes in 2022. “Only in the current House do members impeach a cabinet secretary for not securing the border literally days after voting against the strongest border legislation in a generation. The House deserves its appalling approval numbers for these types of antics.”

Although the Senate never voted on the border deal and the House never even saw the bill after Trump blasted it, Boebert still voted to impeach Mayorkas. Departing CD4 Republican Rep. Ken Buck once again voted against expelling a cabinet secretary for the first time in nearly 150 years, saying what Mayorkas has done on the border “just isn’t an impeachable offense.”

“I would have voted with Ken Buck on this: no,” Frisch reiterated, expanding on his frustration with the failure of the bipartisan border bill. “It’s extremely disappointing that extremists sunk this bill. This legislation had the potential to set tough but fair new standards, curb illegal crossings, and significantly bolster border patrol by hiring thousands of new agents and effectively combat the flow of fentanyl and illicit drug trade crossing our borders.”

Those are damn near Republican talking points in a district that went for Trump by 6 points over President Joe Biden in 2020 and 12 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016. But it depends on the Republican.

MAGA firebrand and Jan. 6 attendee Ron Hanks, who has moved to Grand Junction after living in Cañon City, serving in the state legislature there and unsuccessfully running for U.S. Senate, is seeking the Republican nod to take on Frisch in CD3. He would have voted to oust Mayorkas.

“I would have voted yes. His insolence and intransigence has damaged national security,” Hanks said, citing no treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, as spelled out in the U.S. Constitution.

Just as the U.S. Senate twice voted not to convict Trump after the House impeached him for pressuring Ukraine to find political dirt on Biden in exchange for military support and again for his actions on Jan. 6, 2021, it’s unlikely the Senate will find 60 votes convict Mayorkas.

Hanks also dismissed the bipartisan border deal that flamed out in the Senate at Trump’s behest.

“No additional legislation is needed to stop this border invasion,” Hanks wrote in an email. “Joe Biden has all the authority of the office he occupies to stop this, but as a treasonous, foreign-influenced puppet, he and his handlers have chosen not to. [Colorado U.S. Sen. John] Hickenlooper spits the standard snake-oil political trash talk all Americans are tired of listening to. Hickenlooper trying to save his addled and corrupt ally in the White House is as tiresome as these fake fixes they pretend would address the issue.”

Congressional immigration reform has been politicized and elusive for decades but would provide lasting funding and solutions that could survive impermanent executive actions. Hickenlooper on Tuesday issued a press release on the Senate’s successful passage of a national security bill directing billions in aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan – a bill that is likely DOA in the House and does not include border-security funding, as originally demanded by the GOP.

“This bill could’ve passed four months ago. Instead, Republicans put politics over border security, leading us along while blocking any actual solution to this crisis,” Hickenlooper wrote. “While I’m relieved we’re supporting Ukraine, this bill should’ve addressed the border and included help for cities coping with migrant arrivals. Work authorizations and reimbursements would’ve helped cities like Aurora and Denver tremendously, but Republicans chose to campaign on the border instead of fixing it.”

Hurd Adds Immigration to his Website, After Topic Was Absent


The Republican establishment choice for CD3, Grand Junction lawyer and former chamber of commerce head Jeff Hurd, did not respond to questions on the border security bill’s failure and the impeachment of Mayorkas.

His campaign, however, has now added immigration on its website after the topic was notably absent as recently as early January.

Grand Junction Mayor Anna Stout, a strong advocate for immigration reform and border security based on personal experience, has pulled out of the race for CD3, and Republican Pueblo veteran and former Colorado State Board of Education member Stephen Varela also did not return an email seeking comment.

Republican Carbondale businessman and local radio host Russ Andrews cited his Feb. 6 press release going after the Hurd campaign on border issues and failure to sign a unity pledge.

“We have not heard back from the Hurd campaign on joining us to impeach Mayorkas even though he claims on the campaign trail he will be strong on the border,” Andrews said, making it clear he would have voted to impeach. Like Hanks, Andrews said Biden should use sweeping executive authority the way Trump wielded such power during his four years in office – often under a cloud of controversy and with some legal difficulty.

Andrews is running on a platform of finishing Trump’s border wall, mass deportations, financially punishing Mexico and China for opioids and fentanyl, reforming asylum laws, defunding sanctuary cities and increasing legal immigration for “doctors, nurses, code writers, etc.” He declined to comment on the bipartisan border-security deal that failed in the Senate at Trump’s urging.

“I will not speculate on a hypothetical,” Andrews emailed. “Biden has the tools he needs; he should do his job.”