Marina Zimmerman looks to oust Lauren Boebert in CO-3 Republican primary

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Jan. 11—A longtime crane operator and business owner will challenge Rep. Lauren Boebert in the June 28 Republican primary in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District.

Marina Zimmerman from Arboles in Archuleta County has filed to run against Boebert. The seat is up for grabs in November.

District 6 State Senator Don Coram is the third Republican candidate who has announced his candidacy for the race.

For Zimmerman, running came down to her belief that a better representative of CO-3 is needed for the sake of the constituents of the district.

"It's always been a goal to run for office...that's where my education was leading me," she said. "But when I saw what happened on January 6th and looking at what's happened in our government, the Lauren Boebert-types...it was just a scary thing to see.

"People like Boebert don't care about policy. They don't care about conservatism. They care about knocking people down they don't care for. We're on a really dangerous path and we need to get people in government who believe in competitive ideas and finding common ground."

Zimmerman said she wants to focus on key issues that matter to CO-3.

Water issues, forest and land management issues, mental health and the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy are all key platforms on which Zimmerman said she will focus.

"We have to come up with some innovative solutions for our water situation," she said. "We're barely getting snow and we've been in a 20-year drought. We really have to focus on water and forest health. And we can't sideline mental health. That's a huge issue across the country.

"In CO-3 we have a very, very high suicide rate. There's so much that needs to be worked on and that's what I want to focus on."

Zimmerman was born in Germany. She is the daughter of a U.S. Air Force sergeant and a German immigrant.

She worked in industrial construction as a crane operator, traversing the United States until ultimately moving to Colorado where she's lived since.

Her children attended school in Ignacio and Broomfield and Zimmerman has owned and operated a concrete business that has operated in much of the district.

In addition, Zimmerman has an associate's degree in paralegal studies and a bachelor's degree in political science and pre-law from Fort Lewis College in Durango.

She later obtained a post-baccalaureate certificate in construction management and was in the process of obtaining a master's degree when she decided to run for Congress.

She said that while she doesn't have all the answers to fix some of CO-3's complex issues, she will work with others to find solutions in the best interest of her constituents.

"I don't have all the answers, but the fact of the matter is that when I get in I will bring in experts and get the answers we need," Zimmerman said. "We have to have common-sense solutions that will benefit all of the district."

In Congress, Zimmerman said, she will look to help ensure Colorado has programs and solutions to help with water supply such as ensuring that farmers have equipment that will help conserve and efficiently use water. Zimmerman also said she will focus on conservation efforts to help with land and forest issues.

She said she'll also bring another useful tool to the table as the CO-3 representative: the ability to listen.

"Even if I don't agree with you, I will sit down and have a conversation," she said. "I will look you in the eye and listen. We can sit down together and you can tell me how you feel."

That includes spending more time in Pueblo — something many critics have voiced concern with about Boebert, who rarely comes to Pueblo and with little-to-no announcement ahead of time.

Zimmerman recently spent three days in Pueblo, touring various places and speaking to Puebloans.

She said Pueblo will be just as important to her as other parts of CO-3.

"I really enjoyed my time there and hope to get back to Pueblo sometime soon," she said. "There's a lot of culture there. It's a great town and I'm looking forward to learning more about it and the people there."

Zimmerman has spent much of the last year traversing the district, hearing from constituents and garnering support for her campaign.

She said she feels that unaffiliated voters as well as Democrats who may switch affiliation to vote in the primary could help her unseat Boebert.

"On January 13th I have a meet-and-greet at the Western Colorado Arts Center in Grand Junction and it's put on by a group called Liberals for Marina," she said. "The biggest block of voters in the state are unaffiliated voters. I have a huge following and support from unaffiliated voters both right-leaning and left-leaning."

She said that she has heard from many Democrats in the district who said they will register as Republicans to vote in June.

Zimmerman said she believes that working across the aisle and coming to common-ground solutions is a vital part of politics; one that is missing in Congress that she hopes to help bring back.

"I reach out to everyone because the solutions aren't always easy to find," she said. "If I think I have the answer to every problem and that it's my way or the highway, well that's not what America is about."

Shortly after Zimmerman announced she was running for CO-3, Coram also announced his candidacy.

Coram served in the Colorado House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017 before being elected to serve as State Senator from District 6.

While he may have more political experience, Zimmerman said it doesn't change her approach.

"We'll stay the course because the message stays the same," she said. "If Coram cared about Colorado and getting Boebert out, he wouldn't have entered the race and potentially split the vote."

Zimmerman said she believes that Coram only decided to run after new redistricting maps drew him out of the sixth district.

She also is concerned that Coram may have his own self-interests at heart rather than caring about the environment or issues that could help Colorado.

"We could have worked together to get this extremist (Boebert) out," she said. "I just don't know if he cares about Colorado that much and if the issues important to Coloradoans matter that much to him."

More on Zimmerman's campaign can be found at marinazimmerman.com.

Luke Lyons is the news director of The Pueblo Chieftain. He can be reached via email at LLyons@chieftain.com.

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