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Diane Mitsch Bush, Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District

Diane Mitsch Bush, the Democratic nominee in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, has been added to the House Democrats' program for top-tier challengers vying to flip competitive, Republican-held districts.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Monday that Mitsch Bush earned a spot in its "Red to Blue" candidate support program by demonstrating strength in fundraising, grassroots engagement, organization and local support.

Mitsch Bush, a former state lawmaker and county commissioner, is running against first-time candidate Republican Lauren Boebert, the Rifle restaurant owner who toppled five-term U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton in the June 30 Republican primary.

“Right now, Colorado families are dealing with serious public health and economic challenges and they need a representative in Washington who is ready to get to work on Day One," said Cheri Bustos, the Illinois congresswoman who chairs the DCCC.

"Diane Mitsch Bush has a strong, pragmatic record of working across the aisle to get real results for her constituents and she has built a powerful grassroots campaign to bring that same focus to Congress. Unlike her opponent, Diane follows the law and is committed to lowering the cost of health care, rebuilding the economy with good-paying jobs, and protecting our public lands."

Bustos added that she looks forward to working with Mitsch Bush to flip the seat, which has been a Democratic target for years.

An internal poll released earlier this month by the Mitsch Bush campaign showed a neck-and-neck race for the seat, which covers most of the Western Slope and southern Colorado and has been held by the GOP for the last decade.

The same survey found 31% of likely voters viewed Mitsch Bush favorably, with 15% viewing her unfavorably, compared to 25% viewing Boebert favorably and 18% viewing her unfavorably. The poll also found President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tied at 48% each in the district, which tilted toward Trump by 12 percentage points in 2016.

“The DCCC is supporting this race because they believe that we can win," said Mitsch Bush, who lost a bid to unseat Tipton in 2018.

"I’m so proud to have broad grassroots support across our district. Colorado needs real, independent leadership — not more partisan extremism and bickering. People in the 3rd District want an economy that works for them with good paying jobs and real opportunity. They want to protect our public lands and a representative who will defend the Affordable Care Act, lower prescription drug prices, and defend our rural hospitals and clinics. I can’t wait to be exactly that leader in Congress.”

Just 34 candidates have been named to the national program this cycle by House Democrats, who picked up 43 seats in the last election and are mostly playing defense in November.

"The DCCC can add Diane Mitsch Bush to any list they like," Colorado Republican Party spokesman Joe Jackson said. "Unfortunately for them, it won't change the fact that Mitsch Bush is a socialist who has supported Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and policies that are radically out of touch with everyday Coloradans.“

Boebert was named in early August to the the National Republican Congressional Committee's "Young Guns" program, the GOP's equivalent candidate support program. She has been embraced by Trump and last week attended the president's speech at the White House accepting the nomination to a second term.

Note: This story has been updated to include a comment from the Colorado GOP's spokesman.

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