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It’s only been since Colorado’s 2011 redistricting scheme that its Second Congressional District has been seen as competitive. While most would still be dubious of the claim that Jared Polis could be unseated and a Republican challenger take his place, a growing number of Boulder County Republicans have started to see a tangible possibility of running a victorious campaign.

General elections are won and lost, in large part, at the primary level, and choosing a principled candidate with a broad appeal is no small task. CD2 is made up of a wide variety of Front Range and mountain counties and people, and it’s necessary to find someone who can speak to all those people, not just one segment of the population. In a newly competitive district, it’s also important that the GOP nominee know how to campaign, not just to get his name to new potential voters, but to inspire Republicans to get to the polls on Election Day.

There are three Republican candidates vying for the chance to unseat Jared Polis this November.

George Leing: The son of Chinese immigrants who came to the US shortly after WWII, George Leing is a graduate of NYU, Yale and Georgetown Universities. He’s a lawyer who has worked in the finance and energy sectors, including for a renewable power development construction company. He has experience in politics, having served with the Boulder County and State Republican Parties, as well as on the Colorado Advisory Committee on a Uniform Voting System.

His website lists a number of specific and detailed stances on political issues, including fully repealing the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare. He also provides a list of alternative suggestions to reduce the cost of healthcare in America. On Second Amendment issues, he opposes a national gun registry and other restrictive policies.

Leing’s experience in the energy industry puts him in a unique position to address one of the most important issues in Colorado today. Both natural gas and renewable energy sources are abundant here, and both can help improve Colorado’s economy and help America achieve Energy Independence. Jared Polis has spoken frequently on energy issues, but only supports renewable development and opposes natural gas production.

Bob Comer: Bob Comer has served in the Reagan and both Bush administrations. He firmly believes that his approach to the campaign and politics in general will make him the most successful of all the candidates, and the most likely to be elected. By focusing on smaller steps – such as the defunding of Obamacare – he says he can compete against the Democrat and progressive agenda.

He supports an “all of the above” energy plan and the elimination of all forms of double taxation – such as capital gains, estate, dividend, gift and interest taxes – and moving control away from the federal government and to more local ones.

Larry Sarner: Larry Sarner is a graduate of CSU, and has lived in Larimer County ever since. He’s worked in the tech industry, been involved in business ventures, and been involved in state politics, as well as having worked as a substitute teacher. He’s also founded community organizations like Front Range Skeptics and Citizens for Science in Medicine.

Sarner supports debt reduction, the repeal of Obamacare, and opposes Common Core. He supports fracking and the right to bear arms. On his campaign site, he says “It is a disaster to saddle recent college graduates with crushing student loan debt just as they are attempting to start out on their careers,” but he does not explain how he intends to address this issue.

The candidate who receives the GOP nomination will have to be able to convey his message to a wide range of people. He’ll have to be able to speak to rural ranchers, people who live in mountain towns, private sector workers and entrepreneurs, and students at Colorado’s two major Universities. To ignore the influence of any one of these groups will prove devastating to any campaign in the district.

For more articles by Sarah Tanksalvala, click here. For continuing notifications of Boulder County political news, subscribe to email alerts, or follow STanksalvala on Twitter.

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