Democrat Adam Frisch announced in a live Facebook speech that he called GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert and conceded in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District race.
Although there will be an automatic recount done by the Secretary of State, Frisch said he did not ask for a recount, does not expect the results to change, and does not want there to be fundraising done for a cause that is essentially fruitless.
As of Friday morning, with almost all the votes tallied, Boebert leads Frisch by only 551 votes in what had been considered a safely Republican district. In Colorado, any race decided by a margin that’s 0.5% or less of the votes earned by the top finisher is automatically recounted. The current margin of 551 votes is about 0.34% of Boebert’s 163,758 votes.
According to information published by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, all but one of the counties in the Western Slope district have finished reporting votes.
Under Colorado law, counties have until November 29 to complete a risk-limiting audit, which involves double-checking a small number of ballots against the recorded votes, and then until November 30 to certify their final results.
Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold has until December 5 to certify the election and order any mandatory recounts. Those recounts must be completed by December 13.
Boebert’s close race in a seat that became more Republican after redistricting – former President Donald Trump would have carried it by 8 points in 2020 – has taken many political watchers by surprise. Frisch, a local businessman and former Aspen city councilman, made the election a referendum on the hard-line lawmaker’s controversial tenure in Washington. Throughout the race, his campaign drove around a trailer called the “Beat Boebert Buggy,” and his Twitter bio describes Frisch as a “Candidate to defeat Lauren Boebert.”
Boebert suggested to CNN last week that a lack of voter enthusiasm for her party’s nominees for governor and US Senate had caused her race to be much closer than anticipated.
She noted that Gov. Jared Polis and Sen. Michael Bennet, both Democrats, skated to reelection.
“I think Polis and Bennet definitely carried the ticket for the Democrat Party,” she told CNN.
“I don’t know if there wasn’t enough enthusiasm for our top ticket candidates for governor and Senate or what happened there. But there was a lot of shifting of the votes there,” she said, before adding, “Of course, I expect to win.”
Boebert was a political newcomer in 2020, when she upset Rep. Scott Tipton in a GOP primary. She found meaningful support in Colorado by positioning herself as a close ally of Trump. Her bombastic political style, however, has been controversial in Washington. Earlier this year, she shouted during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address as he discussed helping US veterans, and in 2021, her unfounded suggestion that Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar was a terrorist drew national headlines. Boebert later apologized to “anyone in the Muslim community I offended.”
Boebert’s race is among a handful of House contests that remain uncalled by CNN as of Friday morning. Other uncalled races include several contests in California and the race for Alaska’s At-Large District, which will likely be decided by the state’s new ranked choice voting system next week.