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Our View: Hurd out to ‘make local – not national – headlines’

Former Aspen city councilor Adam Frisch, whom we endorsed in the 2022 3rd Congressional District race narrowly won by Lauren Boebert, remains the lone Democratic candidate. In considering who his Republican challenger would be, we sorted through the crowded field of candidates to determine who would best contribute to a race that puts put real attention on the ongoing, day-to-day struggles of constituents, such as inflation, as well as future concerns coming soon enough, including diminished water.

Attorney Jeff Hurd of Grand Junction is that person.

We interviewed three candidates – Hurd and Realtor Curtis McCrackin of Cedaredge via Zoom and, in person, Lew Webb of Durango, who previously owned a California auto dealership. Each were thoughtful in their responses to our questions. Each showed warmth and charisma, and took insightful positions.

Given the size of CD-3 and candidates’ schedules in campaigning throughout, along with the timing of the primary, we regret not having met each candidate in person. Face-to-face interactions, of course, are always preferred.

To enhance our Opinion election coverage, we are participating in a statewide media project, Voter Voices 2024, that surveyed thousands of Coloradans on issues they want candidates to discuss. We posed these questions to Hurd, McCrackin and Webb.

Topics included: democracy and good government; the economy and cost of living; the environment; climate and natural resources; immigration; and abortion. Adding a question or two close to the hearts of each man allowed us to delve into their values and interests.

No surprise, GOP candidates tend to fall on the same side of issues as their challengers. Like any interview, how a person answers a question can be as compelling – or even more so – than the actual answer.

In particular, we found this to be the case with Hurd, whose humility could very well take him to Washington. A conservative who calls himself principled, believes in limited government and the rule of law, he emphasized the importance of “good listening” to constituents. Multiple times, he said he realized he “might not be right” on all issues, while still conveying confidence.

In campaigning across CD-3, Hurd, who threw his hat in the race before Boebert left, saw how “tough it is for families to make ends meet.” In rural Colorado, he talked about our number one export – our children.

This concept hits home for many of us. It’s a point that naturally segues into how to stoke economic opportunities, the difficulties of having successful businesses and governmental regulations that Hurd feels can hurt more than help.

We liked, too, his willingness to compromise. “Don’t make perfect the enemy of the good,” Hurd said – a few times – which we appreciated.

His ideal Republican Party is one that is solution-oriented, positive, grows and wins elections.

Hurd’s been successful in building a law practice dedicated to rural Colorado. He’s worked with – and for – electric co-ops, counties, school and fire districts, as well as broadband providers. This varied experience would serve him well as representative. His list of endorsements is extraordinary and lengthy, and includes former CD-3 representatives, a previous governor and Interior Secretary, and other luminaries.

Hurd said he hopes to “make local – not national – headlines.” After a term filled with more showboating and drama than governing, we’re also ready for a representative who won’t forget where he comes from and the people he works for during this time of the GOP at a crossroads.

A likable guy, Hurd could be at the right place, at the right time.

At the very least, Hurd strikes us as a worthy challenger to Frisch. Someone who could offer a good, strong, clean race that will intrigue those outside CD-3 but, ultimately, is really about – and for – those of us within its boundaries.