Trump-backed Republican seeking to oust Democrat lawmaker wins Colorado House race

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Trump-backed Republican seeking to oust Democrat lawmaker wins Colorado House race

Republican candidate Gabe Evans, who received the backing of former President Donald Trump, defeated his primary challenger in the race to represent Colorado’s 8th Congressional District in the House.

The victory by Evans, a current member of the Colorado House of Representatives, came after he was pitted against former state Rep. Janak Joshi in Tuesday’s primary election.

Evans previously served in the U.S. Army and Colorado Army National Guard as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot and company commander, according to his campaign’s website.

In addition to his service in the military, Evans, a first-term state representative from Fort Lupton, also served as an Arvada police officer for more than a decade. Now, in his free time from serving as a state lawmaker, he teaches a concealed carry class in the 8th District.

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Gabe Evans (left) defeated Janak Joshi (right), in Tuesday’s GOP primary election to represent Colorado’s 8th Congressional District in the House. (Getty Images, Janak Joshi for Congress)

Evans’ campaign outlines “four pillars” on its website for which he is running his campaign, including American prosperity, American security, American education, and the defense of American values.

Evans and Joshi were the only two Republicans seeking their party’s nomination in Tuesday’s election. Evans received support from Trump and several other prominent Republicans, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, while retired physician Joshi was backed by the Colorado Republican Party.

Trump gave Evans his “Complete and Total Endorsement” earlier this month, writing in a post to Truth Social, “A decorated Army helicopter pilot and police officer, Gabe will be an INCREDIBLE Fighter in Congress and will work hard to Grow the Economy, Lower Inflation, Uphold the Rule of Law, Defend the Border, Promote American Energy, and Support our Great Military and Police.”

With his primary victory in the bag, Evans now advances to the state’s Nov. 5 general election, where he will face off against incumbent Democratic Rep. Yadira Caraveo – a former Colorado state representative who has represented the district in the House since 2023.

Gabe Evans closeup shot

Colorado state Rep. Gabe Evans works at the Colorado State Capitol on February 8, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. (RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Caraveo’s campaign previously slammed Evans following the endorsement from Trump, saying he “will do anything to get elected.”

“Evans will do anything to get elected, even stand by convicted felon Donald Trump. Now, Trump is rewarding Evans’ allegiance with an endorsement,” Mallory Payne, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told Colorado Politics this month. “If it wasn’t already clear that Evans would cave to his MAGA leader’s every demand, it is now.”

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Immigration issues and the border crisis are likely to play a large role in the general election matchup between Evans and Caraveo.

Evans’ campaign website notes the “humanitarian and public policy crisis at the Southern border started the moment Joe Biden took office” and that a “huge percentage of the crime in Colorado is driven not just by homegrown criminals but by international crime organizations and cartels who exploit the open border and Colorado’s sanctuary policies as they prey on Colorado residents.”

Caraveo was one of 211 Democrats who voted against the Secure the Border Act of 2023. That measure, which passed in the House, would have expanded the type of crimes that make someone ineligible for asylum, limited the eligibility to those who arrive at ports of entry, mandated a system similar to the E-Verify employment eligibility verification system and created additional penalties for visa overstay.

Rep. Yadira Caraveo, D-Colo., showin closeup shot

Incumbent Rep. Yadira Caraveo, D-Colo., will face off against Gabe Evans in the state’s Nov. 5 general election. (Getty Images)

Caraveo was also one of the many House Democrats who voted against a GOP-led effort in the House to impeach Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas.

During her previous tenure in the Colorado state House of Representatives, Caraveo joined other Democrats from across the nation to send a letter urging the Biden administration to relax immigration rules and “divest from immigration enforcement agencies like ICE and CBP.”

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The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election analyst, currently ranks Colorado’s 8th District as a “Democrat Toss Up” race this cycle.



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