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6 out of 9 Republicans running for this House seat have been arrested

On Thursday night, nine Republicans seeking their party’s nomination in Colorado’s 4th District debated each other, and at one point, someone in the audience asked “by a show of hands” how many of the candidates had been arrested before—and the response was … telling. 

Among the six candidates who raised their hands were Rep. Lauren Boebert, who recently moved across the state rather than face a primary challenge, and state Rep. Mike Lynch, who recently resigned as House minority leader after his 2022 arrest for driving under the influence and posession of a gun was made public, causing days of Republican infighting.

After raising her hand, Boebert lied and claimed that her arrest “was just a simple traffic violation that was unpaid.” But as the Colorado Times Recorder noted in their article about Thursday’s debate, she doesn’t seem to have been arrested for unpaid tickets. Here’s the Recorder in 2020:

Information about the 2016 warrant comes after Colorado Newsline reported last week that Boebert failed to appear for two separate hearings following her 2015 disorderly-conduct arrest at the Country Jam music festival near Grand Junction. A document search shows that the Mesa County court issued a warrant for her arrest in this case as well after she didn’t show up.

In the 2016 case involving the car accident, a letter was sent by the court to Boebert’s home address in Rifle and advised Boebert that a “warrant for your arrest” was issued for “failure to appear on 10/5/16,” in reference to the case.

In 2020, Colorado Newsline reported that one of her other arrests was a disorderly conduct charge at a country music festival in 2015, where she allegedly “encouraged people arrested for underage drinking to break free and repeatedly said she had ‘friends at Fox News’ who would report on her subsequent ‘illegal arrest.’”

Another prospective nominee who raised his hand was Weld County Council member Trent Leisy, who made headlines in December when he called for Colorado’s Supreme Court justices to be arrested and “tried for treason” after they ruled Donald Trump was ineligible to be president and removed him from state’s presidential primary ballot. KFKA radio reported that Leisy has a previous conviction in connection to a “harassment incident involving a child in 2016,” for which Leisy was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation.

Another couple of hand-raisers were state Rep. Richard Holtorf and Logan County Commissioner Jerry Sonnenberg. Holtorf is probably best known for not having charges filed against him after he dropped his firearm inside of the state Capitol while running to vote. More recently, the staunchly anti-abortion Holtorf has had to defend paying for his girlfriend’s abortion. Meanwhile, Sonnenberg made news in 2017 when he strangely claimed that environmentalists’ calls for lower carbon emissions would “kill all the trees and plants” because “[t]rees and plants use carbon dioxide to create oxygen.”

The other candidate who raised his hand was former congressional aide Chris Phelen.

This is an important primary for the deeply red seat currently held by Rep. Ken Buck, who will retire at the end of his term. The six candidates who admitted to having been arrested received applause from the audience gathered at the Fort Lupton Recreation Center. It’s clear that Republican voters have clearly grown fond of candidates who believe they are above the law.

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We’re going deep inside last year’s momentous progressive victory in the battle for control of the Wisconsin Supreme Court on this week’s episode of “The Downballot,” where we’re joined by Alejandro Verdin, who managed Judge Janet Protasiewicz’s triumphant campaign. Verdin explains how he assembled a team that took the little-known Protasiewicz from third place in the polls to a runaway first-place finish in the primary and then on to a landslide win in the general election.

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