Colorado state Rep. Donald Valdez joins other Democrats vying to defeat Rep. Lauren Boebert in 2022

Colorado House Rep. Donald Valdez has announced his candidacy for the 3rd Congressional District, hoping to defeat U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in 2022.

Valdez, who unsuccessfully campaigned in 2019 for the seat and withdrew before the primary, joins five other Democrats challenging Boebert, including colleague state Sen. Kerry Donovan of Vail. The 3rd Congressional District encompasses the Western Slope, southern Colorado, Pueblo and many of the ski towns in between.

Gregg Smith, Colin Wilhelm, Sol Sandoval and Root Routledge are the others seeking the Democratic nomination.

Valdez of La Jara is in his third term in the Colorado House and is a farmer and rancher. He released a video ad Thursday about his reasons for wanting to replace Boebert, whom he refers to as a QAnon conspiracy theorist. Although Boebert has previously said she is not a believer in the conspiracy theories, she said a month before the primary that she hopes it’s real.

“What happened on Jan. 6 wasn’t just an attack on our Capitol. It was an outright assault on our democracy,” Valdez says in the video. “And Lauren Boebert? She egged them on.”

Earlier this week, Valdez called for a newly-elected Colorado representative to be censured this week for participating in the president’s rally outside the White House before the Capitol insurrection.

Valdez was reelected to the Colorado Legislature in November after defeating a Democratic challenger in the primary and winning nearly 58% of the vote against his Republican opponent. He previously worked as a sheriff’s deputy in Conejos County and pointed to his record on water, education and rural health care in the legislature in his campaign announcement, saying he wants to replace the “radical Republican.”

“These wild conspiracy theories won’t protect our water, our land, expand rural health care or improve our schools,” Valdez said in the video.

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