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Gregg Smith ends campaign to challenge U.S. Rep. Boebert

March 15, 2021 GMT

DENVER (AP) — Gregg Smith, a rancher, former U.S. Marine and former business executive, has announced he is abandoning his bid for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District in 2022.

In a tweet on Monday, Smith said that “I have concluded as a newcomer to the Democratic Party, my chances of winning the primary are remote.” He added that “my continued presence will distract from a unified effort to defeat Lauren Boebert.”

Boebert has attracted national attention early in her first term for become a national lightning rod for insisting she has a right to bring a gun on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, voting to overturn President Joe Biden’s election and being accused of encouraging the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. She denies that accusation — one that Smith, a political newcomber, says compelled him to enter the race.

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Several Democrats have entered the 2022 race, including state Sen. Kerry Donovan of Vail and state Rep. Alex Valdez of La Jara.

Boebert’s sprawling district runs from Pueblo through Colorado ski country and encompasses the Western Slope. Its boundaries could change during redistricting.