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Adam Frisch on the campaign trail

Adam Frisch Campaigning in Delta, Colorado. (From l-r) Jeff Skeels, Debbie Kimball, Adam Frisch and Dea Jacobson
Lisa Young
Adam Frisch Campaigning in Delta, Colorado. (From l-r) Jeff Skeels, Debbie Kimball, Adam Frisch and Dea Jacobson

As the lone Democrat in Colorado's Third Congressional District race, Adam Frisch is currently traveling hundreds of miles campaigning in 27 Western and Southern Colorado counties. KVNF's Lisa Young sat down with Frisch last week at Doghouse Espresso in Delta for a candid conversation on a bright pink couch.

Here's the transcript from the interview.

Lisa Young: I know a lot of people are still asking you the questions about Lauren Boebert leaving the district, I'm going to be one of those, how has it changed and what are you looking to do as you continue to campaign around the district as the sole Democrat on the primary side for the Democrats?

Adam Frisch: Well, you know, it probably would have been more fun to defeat her at the ballot box last year or this year, but you know, we're taking pride that we, and a lot of hard work from volunteers, literally chased her out of the district.

There's probably been 25, 30 years since someone actually packed up and moved, not because of redistricting. But the great thing about her departing is it allows a better conversation. She attracts so much national attention and a lot of support, but also a lot of that hatred. And we were getting kind of blamed for going after her.

We never spent any time attacking her family or personal stuff. It was always that she wasn't supportive of veterans and her policies. And we always want to tell people why people should be voting for us, or for anybody for that matter, and the fact that a lot of that national circus media has left allows for a better conversation and that will be better for the district.

And so, regardless if I'm running along another firebrand or a more traditional Republican, it doesn't change how many miles we're going to put on the road, how hard we're going to work, and how we're going to focus on Colorado energy, Colorado jobs, Colorado water, the issues that matter to the ranchers and the farmers and small business owners that live in our beautiful rural district.

So, on one hand, not a lot's going to change because again, her departure doesn't change the issues that are facing the vast majority of people in the district. We just have much better options going forward.

Young: You talked a lot about what people are interested in here in the district, what are you hearing from the constituency here? And I know you were just in Montrose.

Frisch: You know, I think they just feel like a lot of the rural way of life is being beaten up and not focused on. And I think you hear that across the entire district, especially on the Western Slope. I think people, and I've been a big believer in how important domestic energy is, we have a climate crisis, but the way you do not solve that is by sending people to Iran and Qatar and China coal to try to figure out how to produce the energy that's needed for the global economy.

Rural health care is also huge. Everyone has accessibility issues because it costs so much to buy insurance and show up and pay for the doctor's visit, but we are driving so far to go see specialists or even our primary care doctor, and something that's not been talked about a lot but we're starting to focus on is just the mental health aspects of how important that belongs in the healthcare conversation.

And even when I'm in some of the more conservative districts, people nod their heads and acknowledge when I start to have these conversations about healthcare, and ranchers and farmers, sadly, are running into suicide rates that are on par with veterans. You know, and nobody deserves to be in that bucket.

And unfortunately, the lack of focus on rural parts of our district, on our rural parts of the country in D.C. has been a detriment. And I think people are open-minded, regardless of political party, to find someone who's going to focus on what matters to them and their families.

Young: Democrats typically haven't been doing very well with rural America.
It seems like the Republicans on the national level have really tapped into something there that has really ignited them.

Frisch: Thirty years ago, the 2,000 rural counties in the country were represented equally by Republicans and Democrats or had voted for a presidential (candidate), and now, instead of 50/50, it's 10/90. And I think it's a bore. Monopolies are bad in business and monopolies are bad in politics. And with due respect to these big city Democrats, they're not always delivering the best version of the Democratic Party in those big cities, they're struggling with some big issues. And a lot of time in rural parts of the country, the Republican Party is not delivering the best version of that Republican Party. I don't want to focus on Team Red, I don’t want to focus on Team Blue, it’s Team CD3.

Republicans and Democrats both have health care issues. Both have mental health care issues. Both are struggling with the cost of living, trying to figure out how to handle child care and health care, (and) making sure that they have good jobs that pay well, and the people can retire with dignity. These are the conversations that are happening, not all of these firebrand issues that the far right and the far left want to bring up.

I think the vast majority of people want someone who's going to be playing between the two 40-yard lines, so to speak. And that's where I am. And, you know, there's just too much media focused on kind of the two 5-yard lines where all the loudest yellers and screamers are. And I don't have any interest in that.

Young: You mentioned that you came in as an Independent, found a pathway through the Democratic Party, what has your appeal been to the Independent folks in the district?

Frisch: I will tell you, people ask me like, ‘What do the Latinos think, what do the conservatives think?’ The vast majority of people are thinking about the same stuff.

You know, again, it's the cost of living, healthcare expenses, a growing mental health catastrophe we have in rural America. Again, the cost of living, making sure that there's strong domestic energy production. And again, young, old, Latino, Caucasian, Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, Green, whatever you want to call it, most people, not that the media wants, some part of the media wants you to believe that, care about a lot of the same stuff.

Lisa was born in Texas but grew up on a small farm in Olathe, Colorado and considers herself a “Colorado native after six years of age.” Lisa has seven years experience in media, beginning as a News Director for a small radio station on the Eastern Plains. Following her initial radio career, Lisa worked as a staff reporter for The Journal Advocate in Sterling, Colorado and most recently as a staff reporter for the Delta County Independent. Lisa is thrilled to join the award-winning News and Public Affairs team at KVNF.