Boehner Set to Raise Cash for Rep. Mike Coffman

The Colorado race is seen by some as a bellwether for how the GOP should position itself on immigration.

US Representative Mike Coffman, a Republican from Colorado, speaks to reporters on May 26, 2011 at the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, in front of a reproduction of a 19th-century sign that aimed to stir up opposition to Chinese immigration in the United States. Coffman has thrown his support behind a bill supported by Asian-Americans that would offer an official statement of regret for the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act that severely curtailed immigration. AFP PHOTO/SHAUN TANDON (Photo credit should read SHAUN TANDON/AFP/Getty Images)
National Journal
Billy House
Aug. 27, 2014, 1:58 p.m.

On the heels of his big three-day fun­drais­ing event in Jack­son Hole, Wyo., this week, House Speak­er John Boehner will be back in the Moun­tain West on Tues­day to at­tend a cam­paign fun­draiser for GOP Rep. Mike Coff­man.

Coff­man is fa­cing a chal­lenge from former Col­or­ado Speak­er of the House An­drew Ro­man­off, and many in­de­pend­ent pun­dits see the race as a toss-up.

Though Re­pub­lic­ans are vir­tu­ally as­sured of re­tain­ing the House ma­jor­ity after Nov. 4, Coff­man’s reelec­tion race is be­ing billed by some as a test of House Re­pub­lic­an po­s­i­tion­ing on im­mig­ra­tion re­form and the party’s ap­peal to Latino voters.

The His­pan­ic pop­u­la­tion in Coff­man’s dis­trict doubled after its bor­ders were re­drawn in 2011, ac­cord­ing to the latest census es­tim­ates. In go­ing from few­er than 9 per­cent His­pan­ic to nearly 20 per­cent His­pan­ic, the 6th Dis­trict ticked above the na­tion­al av­er­age in that pop­u­la­tion share, mak­ing Coff­man one of just 50 House Re­pub­lic­ans whose dis­tricts are more His­pan­ic than the na­tion as a whole.

Na­tion­al Journ­al‘s Josh Kraush­aar has noted that since the dis­trict was re­drawn, Coff­man has be­come a “born-again cham­pi­on for im­mig­ra­tion re­form.” But though His­pan­ics now make up one-fifth of the state’s pop­u­la­tion, Col­or­ado has also got­ten sig­ni­fic­ant at­ten­tion from anti-il­leg­al-im­mig­ra­tion act­iv­ists.

As a res­ult, some Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates in the state this year have been caught between ca­ter­ing to their base and main­tain­ing broad ap­peal in the gen­er­al elec­tion. Boehner, mean­while, has spoken pos­it­ively about the need for com­pre­hens­ive im­mig­ra­tion re­form but also must lead a GOP Con­fer­ence with a sig­ni­fic­ant num­ber of re­form foes.

The event for Coff­man will come after this week’s big schmooze-fest by Boehner and oth­er top House Re­pub­lic­ans in Jack­son Hole, where they rubbed el­bows with about 150 party faith­ful. Most all are donors to the Boehner for Speak­er na­tion­al fun­drais­ing com­mit­tee, aides say.

Among those in at­tend­ance were House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Kev­in Mc­Carthy, Ma­jor­ity Whip Steve Scal­ise, and House Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence Chair­wo­man Cathy Mc­Mor­ris Rodgers.

One dis­cus­sion at the event, held by out­go­ing House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee Chair­man Mike Ro­gers and House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee Chair­man Ed Royce, was on “Stop­ping the Ter­ror­ist Surge, Check­ing Putin.”

Mc­Carthy and Scal­ise also gave a talk on “A Stronger Eco­nomy and a Bright­er Fu­ture.” And Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee Chair­man Greg Walden spoke about the party’s so-called “Drive to 245” House seats””and what he viewed as the top de­vel­op­ing races in the coun­try.

In his own re­marks open­ing the event, Boehner re­capped his Au­gust bus trip, talked about a Re­pub­lic­an lag in House race fun­drais­ing com­pared with Demo­crats, and en­cour­aged at­tendees to “spread the word that the GOP needs help to max­im­ize every op­por­tun­ity,” an aide said.

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