RIFLE–In a surprise upset in the 3rd Congressional District primary, which covers 29 counties, mostly in western Colorado, Rifle resident Lauren Boebert defeated five-term Congressman Scott Tipton, handily winning the Republican nomination by a roughly 55% to 45% margin, with 107,473 votes cast.
She will face Steamboat Springs Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush for the seat in November.
“Plain and simple, she is left of her party’s platform,” Boebert said of Bush to Complete Colorado in a recent interview.
“She has every check box for the radical left; the $93 trillion Green New Deal which will bankrupt our country, government control of health care, she wants to defund our police, she wants to raise our taxes, the list goes on and on,” said Boebert.
Of her victory over Tipton, Boebert said, “This wasn’t anything personal against Tipton, this was about job performance. I had a better message and I’m a better messenger. And I have the greatest volunteers and the greatest supporters that Colorado has to offer.”
“When I revealed his voting record to the voters they understood that he is not the conservative that he comes home and says that he is,” said Boebert.
In a recent opinion piece for Complete Colorad0, former Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams called Boebert’s primary win “one of the biggest political upsets in decades.” As Wadhams notes, the last time an incumbent member of Congress from Colorado was unseated in a primary election was 1972. “She aggressively sought out interviews on conservative radio shows while traveling the district talking to local media,” writes Wadhams. “Seldom has a first-time candidate become as media savvy in such a short period of time as Boebert did.”
Boebert has taken a lot of heat from the political left and progressive media after she reacted to a question about the QAnon movement from the audience in a May 13 interview with Ann Vandersteel on her YouTube channel Steel Truth.
Addressing the attacks by the media Boebert said, “[President Trump] is our chief executive. I don’t believe it’s unreasonable or a radical notion to want to get to the truth of the investigative work that the Inspector General and the Attorney General are performing when it comes to those in the administration who would undermine our President. As for QAnon, that’s a false attack by the Democrats. I’m not into conspiracies and I’m not a follower.”
Boebert was born in Florida and her family moved to Aurora when she was four.
“I was raised in a Democrat home. I was basically raised by my Mom and the government,” Boebert said. “I know what it’s like to have to depend on government for where you’re going to get your food, where you’re going to live, which health care provider you’re going to see.”
“It was a very limiting aspect of our life,” said Boebert. “We couldn’t escape that government control, we absolutely depended on it. I know firsthand what it’s like to buy groceries with a welfare card.”
As a teenager growing up in the small town of Rifle, about halfway between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction along I-70, Boebert says she started developing a sense of personal responsibility at her first job at the McDonald‘s in Rifle.
“I saw at a very young age that I could take better care of myself than the government ever did,” Boebert said. “So I began to develop conservative values over the years, just seeing through life experiences that I could put my hands to something and be successful on my own.”
Boebert still lives in Rifle with Jayson, her husband of 17 years and her four sons.
“We have our four boys and we’re doing everything that we can to raise them to be strong independent men,” Boebert said. “We understand that their success is not going to come from a government handout or government program, it’s going to come from hard work, determination and these conservative values that we’re instilling in them.”
Jayson works in the oil and gas industry on drill rigs.
“He started at the bottom rung in the energy industry and he’s worked his way up and now he is Terra Energy’s go-to guy for everything,” Boebert said. “He’s worked his way to the top out here and we’re very fortunate that he still has work, it’s never a guarantee, it’s always something that we’re looking for backup plans for.”
Part of their backup plan is the Shooters Grill in Rifle, where Boebert first made a media splash because of her welcoming attitude towards open carry of firearms.
Shortly after opening the restaurant in 2013, during the war on oil and gas under the Obama administration, a man was beaten to death behind her restaurant. This forced Boebert to think seriously about the safety of her employees.
“I have an all-female staff and I took advantage of Colorado’s open carry laws,” said Boebert. “At that time I was trained in firearm safety and understood the basics of operating a firearm, but I didn’t have time to sit through a concealed carry training class and then go and spend money to pay the government a fee to prove my innocence and wait for their permit to come in. So I took advantage of those laws and began to open carry.”
“For the first year or so no one really cared that we had guns. Our customers had guns too, and they wanted their food hot with a smile so that’s what our focus was,” said Boebert.
Now she is more formal about making sure her staff is both safe and well-trained.
“We have training for all of our staff that we provide,” Boebert said. “There’s been tactical training, weapons retention training and we take it very seriously. We don’t want any mistakes.”
Boebert says she is committed to protecting the liberty and rights of all her constituents.
“The people here in the 3rd District deserve a leader with a strong message of freedom and prosperity and who will give voice to the issues that matter most of them,” said Boebert. “We are tired of being drowned out by Denver and Boulder liberals all the time. This primary showed that voters are done with DC politics.”