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February 4, 2023    Political Note #537 Yadira Caraveo, Colorado’s Eighth Congressional District

2024                            General Election

Yadira Caraveo won a narrow victory in her race for Congress in November 2022.  Like Gabe Vasquez in New Mexico, if she is going to protect her seat in 2024, she needs resources early. Help her get a great start.

Notice: The two Democrat who were elected by margins of less than 2,000 votes are Latinos.  Both are in the West, in states that have become predominantly Democratic.  New Mexico and Colorado have Democratic Governors and two Democratic US Senators.  All of the Down ballot offices in both states are Democrats. Democrats predominate in the Colorado legislature – 23-13 in the State Senate and 46-19 in the House of Representatives.  The same is true for New Mexico – 27-15 in the State Senate and 45 – 25 in the House of Representatives.

Congressional representation in New Mexico shifted from 2 Democrats and 1 Republican to 3 Democrats in the 2022 election.  In NM 01, Melanie Stansbury was reelected 55.8-44.2, a margin of more than 32,000 votes.  In NM 03, Teresa Fernandez was reelected 58.2-41.8, a margin that approached 40,000 votes.  These substantial wins contrast with Gabe Vasquez’s 1,350 vote victory in NM 02.  Even if one seat was very closely contested, Democratic Congressional dominance is an impressive achievement for Democrats in New Mexico.

Before the 2022 election, Colorado had 4 Democratic Members of Congress and 3 Republican Members.  Population growth led to Colorado being awarded an eighth district.  Yadira Caraveo’s 1,632 vote victory in the newly created district created a delegation of 5 Democrats and 3 Republicans.  Had Lauren Boebert lost CO 03 instead of defeating Adam Frisch by 546 votes, the delegation would have been 6 Democrats and 2 Republicans.  That would have been amazing.

Boebert did not lose.  Maybe in 2024.  (See Len’s Political Note #532). If Yadira Caraveo is going to win her election in 2024 she will need plenty of help.  She outraised her Republican opponent in 2022 and needed every dime. She outraised the Republican — $3.5 million to $1.6 million.  Help her do as well for 2024.

Yadira Caraveo is the daughter of immigrants from Mexico who arrived, without documents, in the 1970s.   Very much like our ideal for immigrants to the United States, her parents lived for their children’s success.  All four of their children earned college degrees.  One of them, Yadira Caraveo, continued on to get a medical degree from the University of Colorado.

Yadira Caraveo showed her hand early about how she would approach being a doctor.  She helped organize medical residents and served as the Union Rep for the Service Employees International Union.  Her interests were not only local.  She was active in the Union of Concerned Scientists effort to deal with the climate crisis.  For her part in that movement, President Obama named her a Champion of Change.

Yadira Caraveo is a pediatrician.  Almost two-thirds of the families she serves are on Medicaid.  As a pediatrician, she knew she could not make the changes she wanted vy being a doctor whose work was only with patients.  She got herself elected as a State Rep in order to make the changes she felt were necessary.

In the state legislature, Yadira Caraveo worked to reduce the cost of prescription medicine,  She also worked to reduce pollution, to increase resources for preschools, to to ensure that all Coloradans have paid sick leave and paid family leave, and to protect people suffering from the pandemic from eviction.  She worked toward providing free contraceptives and reproductive care to the undocumented – arguing that research showed that this would reduce infant mortality rates and maternal mortality.

In an interesting and controversial effort, Yadira Caraveo tried to cap the potency levels of certain cannabis products that were particularly attractive to the young, a bold step in this state that pioneered the legalization of marijuana.  She also proposed a requirement for a THC test for all “unnatural deaths.”  She got Republican sponsors for this proposal, but resistance from Democrats who feared that the testing would be based on race rather than the circumstances of the deaths.

When she was recognized as a Champion of Change, the White House described her work on the health effects of the environment:  “Receiving her training in pediatrics in New Mexico, a state with a number of coal-fired power plants, [Dr. Yadira Caraveo] saw firsthand the health effects of air pollution on her patients, particularly those with asthma and chronic lung diseases. Through a leadership program with the National Hispanic Medical Association, she became involved with the work of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Voces Verdes. She provided insight into the medical perspective on climate change’s public health impacts and participated in a meeting with members of President Obama’s staff concerning emission standards for coal-fired power plants.

Yadira Caraveo will bring her willingness to make bold proposals to Congress, her willingness to work with any legislator on those proposals, and a commitment to creating a country in which everyone has the chance to live a decent life.  Let’s get her re-elected in 2024,  The election is only 21 months away.


February 21 and April 4

Virginia Fourth Congressional District Special Election on February 21

Jennifer McClellan is running to replace the only current vacancy in the US Congress – Virginia’s Four Congressional District. A state senator representing the 9th Senate district, she is the child of a civil rights activist and a university professor. She ran Terry’s McAuliffe’s transition team when he was elected governor in 2013, is vice chair of the Virginia Democratic Party and of the legislature’s Black Caucus.  She is the favorite to defeat Pastor and Navy veteran Leon Benjamin, Sr.   See Len’s Political Note #527.

New Hampshire Special Election on February 21

House District 8, Rochester Ward 4

Incumbent Chuck Grassie is running because of a rarity.  In November, he and former mayor Republican David Walker tied.  Because New Hampshire’s House of Representatives is so large, you would not expect that a single seat would matter much.  This election in February will matter.  Republicans have a narrow majority – 201-198.  Make it a little narrower (201-199)  by helping to reelect Chuck Grassie.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Multiparty Primary on February 21 followed by a General Election on April 4

Janet Protasiewicz is running for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Her win in the February 21st primary and the April 4th General Election would flip the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 4-3 Republican to 4-3 Democrat with enormous implications for issues such as abortion and redistricting.  This is an open seat because a Republican Justice retired.  The election is in the spring rather than November because Wisconsin strives to limit partisanship in judicial elections. See Len’s Political Note #528

Wisconsin Primary on February 21 followed by a Special Election on April 4

Jody Habush Sinykin is running in the special election for Wisconsin’s State Senate District 08.  She is also running to prevent Republicans from having two thirds of the seats in the Wisconsin State Senate.  If the current State Senator for the District were not retiring, Republicans would have 22 of the 33 State Senate seats.  See Len’s Political Note #529