Seek bipartisanship: Pitkin County voter wishes Boebert would reach across the aisle

Erin Smiddy stand outside of the Aspen Fire Station on Thursday, May 13, 2021. A longtime 3rd Congressional District voter, Smiddy is an unaffiliated voter who thinks Rep. Lauren Boebert should be concerned about more than just the Second Amendment. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Editor’s note: This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting voters throughout Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. Through the month of May, The Aspen Times, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Steamboat Pilot & Today, Craig Press and Vail Daily will be running stories highlighting democratic and Republican voters in our communities.

Erin Smiddy has lived in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District nearly all her life.

Most of those 45 years have been spent in Aspen, where she lives in employee housing, previously served as a deputy with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and has been a volunteer at the Aspen Fire Department for roughly 15 years.

After an unsuccessful recent bid for the Aspen City Council, Smiddy has been pondering her next move while working at Clark’s Market in Snowmass Village. An unaffiliated voter, Smiddy said she never misses a vote and tends to “lean more Democrat,” though later in a recent conversation, she made her political affiliation a bit clearer.

“I don’t think in my lifetime I’ve voted for a Republican,” Smiddy said. “The only Republican I’ve ever considered (voting for) in my life was John McCain. He was so bipartisan and fair.”

Not surprisingly, Smiddy said she voted for President Joe Biden and Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, who ran against Republican Lauren Boebert, in the 2020 election. So far she said she’s not impressed with Rep. Boebert’s job performance.

“What I know about her is she’s focused on only the ideals she supports,” Smiddy said. “She doesn’t seem to bipartisan anything. She has a very, very one-sided political agenda.

“But I am impressed with how well she’s done considering her lack of experience and disdain to work with anything liberal.”

Smiddy said she couldn’t care less about guns – Boebert’s signature issue – and instead tends to support pro-environment policies, employee housing efforts and addressing affordability issues for local residents like supporting a higher minimum wage.

“I wish everything with her didn’t revolve around Amendment 2,” she said.

Smiddy also had some criticism for Democrats, and blamed Mitsch Bush for running a staid, uninspiring and ultimately losing campaign for the 3rd Congressional District seat in 2020.

“It was Diane Mitsch Bush’s race to lose and she lost it,” she said. “She should have won it. If it was a younger person with a different platform, I don’t know if Boebert has a chance. But they keep putting these older people up there and this generation is saying, ‘We don’t want that anymore.'”

In general, she said she thinks modern politics is a quagmire.

“I think it’s a hot mess,” Smiddy said. “It’s the most divided we’ve ever been in my lifetime.”

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