CD3 voters mixed on Rep. Lauren Boebert’s performance: Week 4
Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting voters throughout Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. Through the month of May, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, The Aspen Times, Steamboat Pilot & Today, Craig Press and Vail Daily will be running stories highlighting Democratic and Republican voters in each community and providing their impressions of Rep. Lauren Boebert’s first months in office. This week, voters in Routt County are featured.
Routt County mom loves Boebert’s honesty and commitment to rural Colorado
Savvy Wolfson said she has always wanted to live in the Yampa Valley. When she saw a field of wildflowers on a trip to Colorado after high school, she thought, “I could put a house right there and never leave.”
After a fall 2016 trip to the area, she, her husband and two children moved to Oak Creek. They are not ranchers, but Routt County’s Western heritage was something that appealed to Wolfson.
“I believe that our souls require beauty to thrive,” Wolfson said. “I want my kids to grow up somewhere where they can look around and see God’s creation,”
Wolfson, 31, said it is discouraging how much of politics has become soaked into every facet of life, all the way down to whether to buy “Republican pillows” or “Democrat laundry detergent.” She said people at times judge her solely on her political beliefs rather than who she is as a person.
“I feel like I have been painted in a stereotypical way, instead of people actually knowing me for who I am,” Wolfson said. “I want to have more in common, I want people to still interact and I like being surrounded by people who disagree with me, because it challenges me to think through my views.”
Until last year, Wolfson was not registered with either party. She said she actually donated money to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid in 2016. Sanders appealed to her because she felt he was authentic, honestly believing what he is saying.
“I think he says the quiet part out loud sometimes,” Wolfson said. “He truly is a believer in what he is saying and he thinks that he is helping people.
“I see their hearts,” Wolfson said, referring to Democrats who want to put more funding into social programs. Wolfson said she disagrees with these strategies now but believes those who support them have good intentions — something she feels is lost in today’s political climate.
“I think everybody should approach politics assuming that the other side genuinely wants to help the world,” Wolfson said.
Wolfson also gets frustrated when politicians say things they don’t necessarily believe to cater to particular voters. She doesn’t worry about that with Rep. Lauren Boebert.
“I am not surprised that she has ruffled feathers, but I actually like it. She says what she thinks,” Wolfson said.
To Wolfson, Boebert is the only voice for rural people in Washington, D.C. Boebert wants to keep the Bureau of Land Management local, she talks about gas prices and Wolfson believes she is fighting for people like her.
Boebert has said more moms are becoming politically active, and Wolfson agrees. She said moms like her are waking up to the world and becoming more interested in politics.
She helped organize some rallies in support of Boebert last year and reaches out to her congressional office staff frequently. She said she gets prompt responses from Boebert and is enthusiastic about voting for her again in 2022.
“Even more enthusiastically than last time,” Wolfson said.
Steamboat native says Boebert has forgotten about blue portion of the district
Sam Ogden registered as a Democrat as soon as he was old enough to vote. His first ballot was cast in the 2014 mid-term elections, the year Republicans grew their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives to the largest margin since the Great Depression.
Born and raised in Steamboat Springs, Ogden, 25, went to Colorado State University for history and political science. He now lives back with his parents to save money and works as a Colorado Parks and Wildlife summer park ranger and at a bookstore in downtown Steamboat.
He doesn’t always agree with the Democratic Party — Ogden said he is more of a hawk when it comes to war and has more conservative views on things like drug policy. But on about 90% of other issues, Ogden is on board.
Politics in America are very divisive, Ogden said, but this isn’t unprecedented territory for the country.
“I really wish we could all — it is a cliché — but turn down the temperature and start talking with each other,” Ogden said. “I also think that we are dealing with some really important issues. … It is understandable that people are getting so upset because we are dealing with some really important things.”
Primaries are at least partly to blame for the divisiveness because people with the most partisan beliefs generally dominate them, Ogden said. He feels Colorado’s open primary system will help address this because more people, particularly unaffiliated voters, can vote in primaries.
“Then we got Boebert, so it didn’t work too well,” Ogden said.
Ogden is not a fan of Boebert. When she said she would vote to challenge the election prior to Jan. 6, Ogden said he contacted the representative to remind her she represents people who voted for President Joe Biden, too.
“I haven’t heard back. Maybe she hasn’t opened it yet,” Ogden said.
Keeping track of what politicians around the state is important for Ogden, and he follows Boebert pretty closely. Because of her natural resources committee assignment, Ogden said she is in a good position to do some good for the public lands, which dominate much of the land in the district.
But most of what he hears about Boebert isn’t benefiting the district in his mind.
“It seems like she used her persona to get all of this national attention, and then, she hasn’t actually done anything with it yet,” Ogden said. “She is very focused on the red part of the district and has forgotten it is the biggest district in the state.”
Because of the nature of the Western Slope, Ogden said he doesn’t feel like it should be represented by someone who is “super blue.” Instead, it should be someone closer to the middle that can effectively represent ranching and other interests of the district. He would like to see a moderate Democrat take on Boebert.
“I don’t believe I have missed an election yet, and I don’t plan to,” Ogden said. “I am sure there is some universe where I could vote for her, but I can’t picture what that reality is.”
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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