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Tipton challenger Boebert runs on guns, Trump

Thomas Phippen
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Lauren Boebert speaks to a Rifle Republican luncheon at her restaurant, Shooters Grill, in October.
Thomas Phippen / Post Independent

Lauren Boebert, owner of Shooters Bar and Grill, is challenging Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) for the GOP nomination next year but her ultimate fight is against someone else.

In the news release announcing her campaign, Boebert called out a group of Democratic representatives known as The Squad, most notably Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), famous for championing the Green New Deal.

“(Ocasio-Cortez) is putting on a progressive, socialist narrative to our people. I’m going to be the one who changes that conversation back to the Constitution, and what this country was founded on,” Boebert said in an interview.

Boebert doesn’t think Republicans, in particular Tipton, are fighting hard enough against the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario gave an early endorsement to Boebert.

“Lauren Boebert is a true patriot who always stands on the right side of freedom. She is exactly who I want representing us in Congress,” Vallario said in a statement.

Boebert has not shied away from activism in recent years. Her restaurant, Shooters Grill, became famous as a pro-Second Amendment locale. All the servers open carry handguns in the restaurant.

When Beto O’Rourke, then campaigning for the Democratic nomination for president, held a September town hall in Aurora, Boebert confronted him for his statement that “hell yes” he would confiscate semi-automatic rifles.

Boebert’s response was “hell no, you’re not.” In a viral video, she asked O’Rourke how he intended to “legislate the hearts of men” who commit violent acts with guns.

Boebert also was part of the Dismiss Polis campaign, an attempt to recall Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.

Shortly after the viral Beto moment, Boebert attended Aspen City Council meetings to protest a ban on deadly weapons, including open-carry firearms, in city buildings. Boebert said open carry is a great crime deterrent. City Council eventually approved the deadly weapons ban.

Boebert is the mother of four boys. Her husband, Jayson, works in the oil and gas industry.

Though a newcomer to electoral politics, Boebert’s pitch is that she will be the most conservative candidate in the race.

“I think that conservative voters and the like can sleep well at night knowing that I will be in office fulfilling every conservative checkmark there is,” Boebert said.

In addition to protecting Second Amendment rights, Boebert wants to be a voice of support for President Donald Trump’s policies.

“I am more than an advocate for the Second Amendment, I am an advocate for freedom,” Boebert said.

Boebert hopes to inspire a conservative movement that she already sees growing on the Western Slope.

“This isn’t about anything other than people, and empowering them, encouraging them, paving the way and giving them permission to step into positions like this and make a difference in their communities,” Boebert said.

Boebert is the first Republican to announce a challenge to Tipton. Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, who lost to Tipton in 2018, is running for the seat again.


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