Crisanta Duran will challenge Rep. Diana DeGette to represent Denver in Congress

The former Colorado House Speaker will seek the party’s nomination to represent the 1st Congressional District.
2 min. read
Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran speaks in her Colorado State Capitol office the day after the legislative session ended, May 11, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Former Colorado House Speaker Crisanta Duran is finally making her plans to represent Colorado in Washington public, but not in the seat many had expected.

Duran on Sunday night announced in a release she is running to represent the 1st Congressional District, a safely Democratic seat covering Denver currently represented by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette.

DeGette has represented the seat since first being elected in 1996.

In a three-minute video announcing her run, Duran detailed her family's roots in the state and some of her accomplishments. The 6th-generation Coloradan is an attorney by trade. She said everyone deserves a fair shot to succeeded and a level playing field regardless of "income, race, gender or who you love."

Her platform will be rooted in progressive ideals, the release said, perhaps attempting to address some concerns that Duran and DeGette don't differ much on policy. Duran's release touted some of her work including pushing for fair wages, addressing climate change and civil rights for immigrants and refugees.

"This is a movement, that says it's our time to take on inequities with progressive ideas and to write a new chapter in our history books-one like we have never seen before," Duran said in the video. "I'm laying it all on the line ... because change cannot wait."

Duran's announcement ends months of speculation that she would mount a run for the Senate against Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, who's widely seen as having one of the most vulnerable seats in the upper house in Congress.

Duran served as Colorado's first Latina Speaker of the House. She represented the 5th Senate District in Denver from 2011 to 2019, serving as House Speaker the last two years.

DeGette faced a Democratic primary challenge from Saira Rao last year. After successfully defending the seat in the primary and easily beating her Republican challenger in the General Election, DeGette briefly sought the House majority whip position. She withdrew her bid less than two weeks later.

While primarily representing the City and County of Denver, the 1st Congressional District includes Cherry Hills Village, Englewood, Glendale and Sheridan.

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