Sol Sandoval

Pueblo Democrat Sol Sandoval, a candidate in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, is pictured in an undated photograph provided by her campaign.

The progressive Working Families Party on Monday endorsed Pueblo activist Sol Sandoval in the Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional District seat held by Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert.

Calling Sandoval "an incredible, proven community organizer and leader," Wendy Howell, director of the Working Families Party's Colorado affiliate, said the former social worker is the strongest candidate to take on Boebert in next year's election.

“Sol Sandoval has two decades of experience fighting for those our state and nation have left behind," Howell said in a statement. "It’s time to bring that fight to Congress and the Working Families Party will do all we can to make sure Congressional District 3 has a representative that will fight for communities, not conspiracy theories.”

Sandoval is one of at least six Democrats running for the chance to challenge Boebert, the Silt Republican whose combative support of the Second Amendment and former President Donald Trump has made her a darling of the right and a top Democratic target.

Others in the primary include state Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail; state Rep. Don Valdez, D-La Jara; Glenwood Springs attorney and former legislative candidate Colin Wilhelm; Walden veterinarian Debby Burnett; and Durango activist Root Routledge, who sought the nomination last year but withdrew before the primary.

The organization, backed by a coalition of community groups and labor affiliates, has been pushing the political conversation in Colorado to the left since it formed in 2017. In the last cycle, Colorado Working Families Party endorsements helped propel numerous candidates to primary wins, including district attorneys Alexis King and Alonzo Payne, University of Colorado Regent Callie Rennison and state Rep. Steven Woodrow, D-Denver.

Sandoval welcomed the endorsement.

“WFP stands for the same kind of common-sense values that I do: that we should all be able to get medical care when we need it without going broke, that children are our future and we must stand in solidarity with our public school educators because every child should have access to equal opportunities, and we must address our climate crisis head-on to protect the future of our communities and our economy," she said in a statement.

"I look forward to working with them to ensure that Southern Colorado and the Western Slope have the kind of representation that builds and includes rather than tears down and divides our communities."

The Republican-leaning 3rd CD covers most of the Western Slope, the San Luis Valley and Pueblo County. After surprising five-term U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton in the Republican primary last year, Boebert won the seat by nearly 6 percentage points over former state Rep. Diane Mitsch-Bush, who has endorsed Sandoval.

While the district's 2022 boundaries won't be set until sometime this fall, it's likely it will include most if not all of the Western Slope.

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