Glenwood attorney, former state House candidate Colin Wilhelm announces 2022 bid for Boebert’s CD3 seat

Two-time candidate for the Colorado Legislature and Glenwood Springs criminal defense attorney Colin Wilhelm is adding his name to what’s expected to be a long list of Democrats vying for the congressional seat now held by Republican Lauren Boebert of Rifle.

Wilhelm formally announced Monday that he will be seeking the Democratic nomination in 2022 for the 3rd Congressional District seat, saying that he is “running to create a greater opportunity for every family in Colorado.”

“We are at a period where our democracy is being threatened by fringe elements who have sought to take control of American politics,” Wilhelm said.

Wilhelm issued a statement confirming his candidacy, saying that he is “running to help reconstruct politics in this country through unity.”

Wilhelm ran unsuccessfully for the 57th District Colorado House of Representatives seat last year against state Rep. Perry Will, and in 2018 against now state Sen. Bob Rankin, both Republicans.

He noted that the Nov. 3, 2020 election in which Boebert defeated Democrat Diane Mitsch-Bush that there were more cross-party votes than the district had ever seen before.

“Across our state, parents are struggling to create a better life for their children,” he said in the release. “We must do more to create good-paying jobs that can support a family, guarantee access to quality health care, including mental health care, ensure the affordability of higher education, address the housing crisis, and protect our environment.”

Given Boebert’s controversial start since being sworn in earlier this month — including allegations that her social media comments helped incite the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and related to her association with right-wing militant groups — the field of candidates to replace her in two years may be large.

Several prospective candidates have already formally announced, including Durango crane operator and business owner Marina Zimmerman, who is currently unaffiliated, or said they are considering it.

Among the potential Democrats who may challenge Boebert are current Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia of Pueblo, and state Sen. Kerry Donovan of rural Eagle County, according to a Jan. 23 article in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

It’s also possible Republicans could mount a primary challenge to Boebert for the party nomination in 2022. Boebert rose to political prominence herself last year when she defeated five-term incumbent Republican Congressman Scott Tipton in the June GOP primary.

Also factoring into the political maneuvering will be this year’s congressional redistricting, which could shift the boundaries of the 3rd District. The sprawling district now includes Pueblo and most of the Western Slope, except Vail and eastern Eagle County and Summit County.

Wilhelm noted in his announcement that he has a degree from Marquette University in communication studies and his law degree from New England Law-Boston.

After he and his wife moved to Glenwood Springs, Wilhelm has been on numerous non-profit and government boards.

“My parents instilled in me a commitment to community and a firm belief in the promise of America,” he said in the release. “I was raised in a close-knit community and a home known for its strong work ethic and service to others. I want to bring that attitude to Washington on behalf of all Colorado residents.”

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