Pueblo community organizer Sol Sandoval on Wednesday launched her campaign seeking the 2022 Democratic nomination to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District.
The unabashedly progressive Sandoval is the sixth of seven challengers to launch a formal candidacy aimed at unseating Boebert, the controversial Silt restaurant owner and gun rights advocate who surprised a five-term Republican incumbent in last year's primary.
Sandoval says in a campaign video that she felt she was ready to "get out there" after working as a social worker for 10 years.
“I’m ready to share this with everyone else who is not aware of all the things impacting our community,” she says.
A supporter of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, Sandoval is running to the left in a primary field that includes two state lawmakers, a retired CEO and a criminal defense attorney.
"It is absolutely unacceptable for us to expect to have a society in which everyone is thriving when we can’t even afford to be sick," she says in the campaign video.
While some of Boebert's potential challengers have been talking about the Republican as much as they've talked about themselves, Sandoval makes only a passing reference to Boebert in her preliminary campaign material.
"People in this district don't need her fear and hate, we need someone who will to fight for public (education), (Medicare for All), and a (Green New Deal)," Sandoval tweeted Wednesday, using common abbreviations for the proposals.
Noting that Pueblo residents have become used to helping each other out, Sandoval asks: “How many Thanksgiving dinners and holiday toy drives is it going to take? How many veterans have to sleep under bridges here, in the home of heroes? How many times do we have to raise money for the child who has cancer?
"I have been on the front lines of this fight for over 20 years,” she says. “I have been a social worker, an activist and a community organizer, and I have come to the realization that no one is coming to save us. So now, it’s time we save ourselves."
State Rep. Don Valdez, a La Jara Democrat who ran for the seat briefly two years ago before dropping out, announced his candidacy Thursday. State Sen. Kerry Donovan of Vail launched her campaign at the beginning of February and quickly raised more than $100,000, her spokesman said.
Other Democrats in the growing primary field are Marine veteran and former CEO Gregg Smith of Westcliffe; Glenwood Springs attorney and former legislative candidate Colin Wilhelm; Root Routledge of Durango, who ran for the seat last cycle; and Rifle resident Naziha Karima In'am Hadil, who says she's homeless in a Federal Election Commission filing.
The 3rd CD covers most of the Western Slope, the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado and Pueblo County. Its boundaries ahead of next year's election, following the once-a-decade redistricting process, are unknown.