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Former Colorado House Speaker Announces Campaign For Congress

Outgoing Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran hugs incoming House Speaker KC Becker on the first day of the 2019 legislative session.
Outgoing Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran hugs incoming House Speaker KC Becker on the first day of the 2019 legislative session.

Former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran has launched a campaign for a U.S. House seat that fellow Democrat Diana DeGette has held for more than two decades.

Duran is hoping voters in the district are ready for change.

“I believe it is time to do more. It is time we build a movement that values new leaders who aren’t afraid of bold ideas,” Duran said in a video announcing the primary challenge against DeGette. “I’m laying it all on the line to empower Coloradans and build our movement, because change cannot wait.”

Prior to the announcement, some political observers had speculated Duran might challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020.

Duran is a sixth-generation Coloradan who served in Colorado’s House of Representatives from 2011 to 2019.

She was Speaker of the House during her last two years in the state Legislature.

DeGette has held the U.S. congressional seat since 1997.

She also served in the state Legislature before she ran for Congress.

Asked to comment on Duran’s campaign announcement, DeGette’s chief of staff released a statement saying the congresswoman is focused on doing her job and will “let the politics take care of itself.”

“Whether it’s fighting to make health care more affordable or protecting a women’s right to choose, Rep. DeGette spends every day working hard for the people she represents,” the statement said. “In fact, as the chair of a powerful House oversight committee, she’s leading two important Congressional hearings this week — one on the ongoing outbreak of measles here in the U.S and another on the EPA’s lax enforcement of our nation’s environmental laws.”

The congressional district includes the cities of Denver, Englewood, Glendale, Sheridan and Cherry Hills Village.

Capitol Coverage is a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Eleven public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

Copyright 2019 KUNC

Scott Franz is a government watchdog reporter and photographer from Steamboat Springs. He spent the last seven years covering politics and government for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, a daily newspaper in northwest Colorado. His reporting in Steamboat stopped a police station from being built in a city park, saved a historic barn from being destroyed and helped a small town pastor quickly find a kidney donor. His favorite workday in Steamboat was Tuesday, when he could spend many of his mornings skiing untracked powder and his evenings covering city council meetings. Scott received his journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an outdoorsman who spends at least 20 nights a year in a tent. He spoke his first word, 'outside', as a toddler in Edmonds, Washington. Scott visits the Great Sand Dunes, his favorite Colorado backpacking destination, twice a year. Scott's reporting is part of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.
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