Courtesy of Lauren Boebert for Congress

Courtesy of Lauren Boebert for Congress

Second Amendment defenders Gun Owners of America, an organization that bills itself as "the only no compromise gun lobby," is endorsing Republican Lauren Boebert's campaign to represent Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, the group said Sept. 2.

Boebert, a first-time candidate and owner of the Rifle restaurant Shooters Grill, where the waitstaff carries loaded firearms, rocketed to fame when she called out Texas Democrat Beto O'Rourke over the then-presidential candidate's proposal to confiscate assault weapons at an Aurora town hall. She defeated U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton in the June 30 Republican primary. 

She's facing Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush in the largely rural, Republican-leaning district, which covers most of the Western Slope and parts of southern Colorado. Mitsch Bush, a former county commissioner and state lawmaker, was endorsed in August by Brady PAC, the nation's largest gun-violence prevention organization.

“Lauren Boebert may be new to the world of politics, but she’s not new to defending the Second Amendment,” said Erich Pratt, GOA's senior vice president, who announced the endorsement on Sept. 5 in Pueblo. “I look forward to her standing up to the anti-gun likes of Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the halls of Congress.”

The Virginia-based organization counts more than 2 million members.

EMILY's List, a national group that backs Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights, endorsed Mitsch Bush on Aug. 31, contrasting her record as a former state lawmaker and county commissioner with Boebert's lack of experience and hard-line positions.

Said Stephanie Schriock, the group's president of EMILY’s List: "Having overcome financial instability at a young age after her mother joined a union, Diane understands the challenges that working families face. A public servant and former educator, she has been a leading voice in the expansion of accessibility to the ballot box and the protection of Colorado’s lands.

"Unlike her Republican opponent who is best known for her extreme conservative positions and promotion of fringe conspiracy theories, Diane is a seasoned legislator who helped balance Routt County’s budget during the Great Recession and led her community through natural disasters and the swine flu pandemic. We look forward to helping her cross the finish line this fall.”

The endorsement came the same day as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added Mitsch Bush's name to its "Red to Blue" program for challengers running in competitive, Republican-controlled districts.

"EMILY’s List and the DCCC are supporting this campaign because they believe that we can win this race. I’m so proud to have broad, grassroots support across our district," Mitsch Bush said in a statement.

"Colorado needs real, independent leadership — not more partisan extremism and bickering. People in the Third District want an economy that works for them with good paying jobs and real opportunity. They want to protect our public lands. They want a representative who will defend the Affordable Care Act, lower prescription drug prices, and stand up for our rural hospitals and clinics. I can’t wait to be exactly that leader in Congress.”

EMILY's List's name was originally an acronym for “Early Money is Like Yeast," because it “helps raise the dough,” the group liked to say. Since 1985, it's raised more than $600 million for candidates it’s supported and has helped elect some 1,300 women to offices ranging from local positions to governor and the U.S. Senate. The group counts more than 5 million donors nationwide.

The Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance is endorsing Democratic U.S. Rep. Jason Crow's bid for a second term representing the 6th Congressional District.

The venerable organization, which calls itself "a voice of hope for the disenfranchised and underprivileged Afro-American Community," said in a statement that Crow "has shown passion and commitment to bringing positive change in addressing systemic racism in policing and overall racial inequities."

"Jason has shown he is unafraid to hold President Trump accountable to the American people," the group said. "Jason, by example, stands for justice, and he honors the oath that he took to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. The GMDMA is confident that Jason, in his next term in office, will continue to represent all Americans. Jason Crow has unashamedly said and modeled in his representation, that 'Black Lives Matter.'"

Crow said in a statement that it was an honor to have the support of the group, which was formed in the 1940s.

"The Ministerial Alliance is a pillar of our community," he said. "They have stood up and advocated for Black Americans for decades, fighting to make Colorado a more fair and just place. I look forward to working with the Alliance in the months and years ahead to work to move our community and country forward."

The attorney and Army Ranger veteran is running against former Republican Party Chairman Steve House in the district, which covers Aurora and parts of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties.

Colorado's two largest teachers unions, the Colorado Education Association and American Federation of Teachers, endorsed Dr. Mayling Simpson, a Routt County Democrat running for the State Board of Education in the 3rd Congressional District.

“The State Board of Education plays a pivotal role in our public education system for students and educators," said Amie Baca-Oehlert, president of the CEA and a high School counselor, in a statement. "There need to be more Board members willing to listen to educators who interact with more than 900,000 students across our state. Mayling Simpson is one who respects and values educator voices and will bring that along with her professional experience to the State Board of Education as a member from the 3rd congressional district.”

The two unions represent more than 35,000 education professionals.

“I want to make sure that all children have the same opportunity for a high-quality education," said Simpson, who holds a doctorate in Anthropology and worked for decades in the global public health field, including as a senior professional at the World Health Organization.

“I am running to be a voice for Colorado kids, teachers, and parents," Simpson said "It is an honor to earn the support of teachers across the state, and I look forward to working with every school district in CD3 to build stronger, safer schools in all 29 counties.”

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