Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District Diane Mitsch Bush touted her history of collaboration during her time in the Colorado Legislature, along with her evidence-based policies, in a virtual town hall with Southwest Colorado counties on Wednesday.
Mitsch Bush said she was “known for working across the aisle” in the legislature during disasters like wildfires, floods and drought, and “supporting evidence-based, science-based policy.”
The online event had about 40 participants.
One of those participants, Hilary Cooper, asked Mitsch Bush what she would do to bridge the urban and rural divide in Southwest Colorado.
“The best way to solve problems is to get everyone to the table and get folks to listen to each other,” Mitsch Bush said. Those conversations then provide the basis for bills in Congress, Mitsch Bush said.
This was her strategy when she worked with Republican colleagues on a local bill to make it easier for constituent communities to have micro-hydropower systems, which produce electricity using the natural flow of water, she said.
“Tackling climate change will increase economic opportunity,” not stifle it as some conservatives have suggested, Mitsch Bush said.
Colorado State Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, expressed her support for Mitsch Bush during the town hall, saying Mitsch Bush has “thoroughly read the bills she has talked about.”
Durango Mayor Dean Brookie also expressed his support, and said Mitsch Bush can improve the economy in the district by providing training for clean-energy jobs.
Brookie also noted the importance of the race for U.S. Congress on the national level.
Republican candidate Lauren Boebert has drawn attention to Southwest Colorado for her stances on gun rights and messaging against federally funded assistance and health care.
But Mitsch Bush said “people want to solve problems, and the way to solve problems is not partisan gridlock,”
Brookie said the Rifle-based Boebert is out of touch with places like Southwest Colorado, and that she “doesn’t know where Mancos is because she can’t shoot that far.”
Before answering questions from participants, Mitsch Bush told voters she is “not an extremist and not a celebrity” like her opponent is.
“We need empathy and evidence, not extremism,” Mitsch Bush said.
Boebert has sympathized with the fringe movement QAnon and supported its idea that a deep-state network is trying to undermine President Donald Trump, telling NPR “I’m glad the IG and the AG are investigating deep state activities that undermine the President.”
The Republican candidate has since distanced herself from the conspiracy theory group, which started on the dark web forum 4chan. She stated in an interview with The Durango Herald she is “not a follower.”
New finance reports show Mitsch Bush has outraised Boebert by about $700,000.
The former state lawmaker raised $2.6 million from July 1 to the end of September, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Boebert’s campaign is reporting a total of $1.9 million.