Chaz Tedesco launch video

Adams County Commissioner Charles "Chaz" Tedesco, a Democrat, speaks in a campaign video released Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, announcing his candidacy in Colorado's new 8th Congressional District.

The national progressive political action committee VoteVets has endorsed Democrat Charles "Chaz" Tedesco, an Adams County commissioner and candidate in Colorado's new congressional district.

Tedesco, a Navy veteran and former union president, is facing state Rep. Yadira Caraveo, a Thornton pediatrician, in the Democratic primary for the 8th Congressional District, which covers suburbs north of Denver in Adams County and parts of Weld County, including Greeley.

The district is considered a toss-up, though Democrats have held a slight edge with its electorate in recent elections and President Joe Biden carried the district last year by about 4 points.

“Chaz’s story is an American story,” said Jon Soltz, chairman of VoteVets PAC and an Iraq War veteran, in a statement.

“From being raised in a multicultural household, to choosing service to the United States in the Navy, Chaz really embodies the promise of this country. He also is a shining example of veterans using the skills they learned in the military in the private sector. Chaz understands the challenges working families are facing, and understands the security challenges that America is facing from outside and within. He will be an authoritative voice for the people, in Congress, and we’re proud to endorse him.”

Tedesco was born in Adams County and put up for adoption by his birth mother, spending his first five years in foster care before he was adopted by a couple who raised him in a household that embraced Hispanic, Yaqui and German-American traditions. After graduating from Northglenn High School, he joined the Navy at age 17 and served six years before an honorable discharge.

Elected last year to a third term as county commissioner, Tedesco worked for 23 years as a master mechanic at Koppers Inc., an international manufacturing company with a plant in Denver, and was president of the United Steel Workers of America Local 8031 union from 2005 to 2013.

Tedesco and his wife, Bernadette, have a daughter.

VoteVets counts 1.5 million supporters nationwide and endorses candidates with military and national security backgrounds. The group was an early supporter of U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, a Centennial Democrat and decorated Army combat veteran, who is currently the only veteran in Colorado's congressional delegation.

Three Republicans are so far running in the district: Weld County Commissioner Lori Saine, a former state lawmaker; first-time candidate Giulianna "Jewels" Gray; and former congressional candidate Ryan Gonzalez. Three state senators — Barbara Kirkmeyer, John Cooke and Kevin Priola — are considering joining the field.

The primary is June 28, 2022.

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