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ICYMI: Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman draws primary challenge | Colorado Politics

“It should come as no surprise that voters across the political spectrum are fed up with Rep. Mike Coffman and Speaker Ryan’s do-nothing Congress not working for them,” said DCCC Spokeswoman Rachel Irwin. “Coffman’s history of playing both sides of every issue is finally catching up with him and a healthy primary will put his true conservative colors on full display. Given the results coming out of Virginia and across the country, it’s clear that voters are eager for change and vulnerable Republican Mike Coffman is in for the race of his career.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman draws primary challenge | Colorado Politics

By Ernest Luning

November 7, 2017

Douglas County Republican Roger Edwards plans to announce Wednesday that he’s challenging U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in next year’s GOP primary, charging the five-term incumbent with paying lip service to conservative priorities and using “identity politics” to divide residents of the battleground 6th Congressional District, he told Colorado Politics.

“It has become exceedingly more difficult to support Mike,” Edwards, 67, said in an interview, citing Coffman’s congressional voting record and his attempts to distance himself from presidential candidate Donald Trump during last year’s election.

Coffman, an Army and Marine Corp veteran, has won an unbroken string of elections since the late 1980s, serving in the Colorado House and Senate and as state treasurer and secretary of state before winning a seat in Congress in 2008. He hasn’t had to get past a primary since his initial run in the suburban district, which covers Aurora and portions of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties and is split nearly evenly between Democratic, Republican and unaffiliated voters.

The 6th Congressional District is one of 23 House seats nationwide carried by Democrat Hillary Clinton but represented by Republicans, landing it on national Democrats’ target lists. Coffman has beaten back challenges from high-profile Democrats in the past three elections even as the district has been ranked as among the most competitive in the country.

Edwards said voters he’s talked to are increasingly dismayed at Republicans’ inability to follow through on campaign promises after winning control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.

“Republicans out of Washington have created a giant stain on their brand,” Edwards said. “And Mike Coffman, with the way he flip-flops around — says one thing and does another — he’s created his own stain on his brand. It’ll be a miracle if a Democrat can’t beat him.”

Noting that unaffiliated voters will have the chance to participate in Colorado primaries for the first time next year, Edwards said he expects to win their support.

“They’re not really enamored with Republicans — and for some right reasons,” he said. “But if you speak to people in a way that makes sense to them, they’re either going to accept or reject you. That will be their choice.”

The last straw, Edwards said, was Coffman’s vote in May against a House bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, after years of campaigning on a promise to overturn the law.

Edwards also derided Coffman’s score from the conservative Heritage Action for America organization.

“He has 55 percent, according to the Heritage Action — that’s an ‘F.’ If you go to school, that’s an ‘F.’ Don’t the citizens of Colorado’s 6th District deserve better than an ‘F’ congressman? I think so,” Edwards said.

Although he’s a longtime GOP activist and has had held party office in the past, Edwards said he couldn’t bring himself to vote for Coffman in last year’s election and pulled the lever for the Libertarian candidate instead.

“Mike Coffman’s a good man — he’s a Marine, and my sons are Marines,” Edwards said. “But he’s left where I’m at. It got to the point where it was a real frustration.”

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