Lauren Boebert delivered a stunning upset victory knocking off five-time incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, in Colorado’s 3rd U.S. Congressional District in the Colorado Primary Election on Tuesday night.
Boebert, who gained notoriety by openly wearing a pistol holstered to her thigh, has attacked the incumbent from the right for not standing up forcefully to object to left-wing members of the U.S. House, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
According to unofficial results from the Colorado secretary of state’s website as of 9:55 p.m., Boebert had 55,237 votes, or 54.38% of the vote, compared with 46,340 votes, or 45.62% of the vote, for Tipton.
As of 9:45 p.m., the La Plata County Clerk and Recorder’s website gave Tipton the lead in the county with 3,175 votes, or 54.67%, compared with 2,633 votes, or 45.33%, for Boebert.
In Montezuma County, with results reported as of 9 p.m., Tipton led in his home county by only 256 votes, with Tipton claiming 2,999 votes, or 52%, compared with Boebert’s 2,743, or 47.8%.
Boebert did much of her work in Mesa County, the most populous vote center in the 3rd Congressional District. Mesa County results, reported at 9 p.m., gave Boebert 18,320 votes, or 64.34%. Tipton had 10,153 votes, or 35.6%.
In Pueblo County, Boebert was leading at 9 p.m. with 6,794 votes compared with Tipton’s 6,559.
“I entered into this race to represent the people. And I have spoke with thousands of people myself. So I feel like I have an even better gauge on where my constituents are,” Boebert said Tuesday, before results had come in. “And I also got into this to drain the swamp and disrupt politics as usual. And draining the swamp starts right here at home. It doesn’t start in D.C.”
In the Democratic race, as of 9:30 p.m., party veteran Diane Mitsch Bush had a wide lead with 59,531 votes, or 61.15% of the vote, to newcomer James Iacino’s 38,187, or 38.19% of the vote.
Just after 9 p.m., Tipton conceded the race, issuing a brief email statement: “3rd District Republicans have decided who they want to run against the Democrats this November. I want to congratulate Lauren Boebert and wish her and her supporters well.”
Boebert had boasted about her potential to upset Tipton after claiming the top spot on the primary ballot in the 3rd Congressional District Assembly held virtually because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“This absolutely is important and indicative of where the voters are. This doesn’t happen very frequently. We put a five-term incumbent on the bottom of the ballot,” Boebert said. “The delegates who vote do their research before they decided who they want at the top of the ballot. These are people who are committed with their time, their efforts and often financially for their candidate, and I think it’s a great sign.”
Boebert owns Shooters Grill in Rifle, where servers also open-carry. Garfield County had issued a 30-day suspension of the restaurant’s license in mid-May after Boebert served customers in defiance of a state public health order and a court injunction.
Boebert said she was raised in a Democratic household and became a self-taught Republican conservative through her life experiences. She has never held public office.
Boebert had opened the restaurant, serving customers in outdoor seating, to protest the public health order in Colorado that she said unfairly targeted small businesses, like her restaurant, for closure while allowing big-box retailers to remain open.
Boebert said she was especially grateful for the hard work her volunteers put in against a well-funded incumbent.
“I have the best volunteers that I could have asked for, and there’s nothing else that I would have changed,” she said. “We have gone out this with everything that we have. There is nothing but passion, enthusiasm and excitement. Every single day. Anytime a challenge comes up, my volunteers and I push harder. And I’m just really grateful for all of their dedication, all of their hard work.”