In an unexpected turn of events, gun rights activist and restaurant owner Lauren Boebert defeated five-term incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colorado) Tuesday night, securing a Republican nomination in Colorado’s third congressional district.

Boebert, the owner of a restaurant in Rifle, Colo. which boasts a firearm-bearing wait staff, went after Tipton for supporting the CARES Act, which provided economic relief in the wake of COVID-19.

Tipton trailed Boebert 45.4% to 54.6%, with 94.9% of precincts reporting.

He was the likely frontrunner, spending nearly $530,000 by mid-June and boasting an endorsement from President Donald Trump.


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However, Boebert, who in contrast spent only $120,000, resonated with Republican voters.

Shortly after her win, she tweeted: “I will never stop fighting for freedom and the principles that this country was founded upon. Socialism has no place in America. We are very obviously in a battle for the soul of our nation. We will win this battle in 2020.”

Boebert also drew on the viral video of her confronting former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke in September 2019 saying, “Hell, no, you won’t take our guns.”

Democrats have accused Boebert of being a rightwing, fringe candidate.

“Not even multiple endorsements from President Trump could save Congressman Scott Tipton from his extreme, QAnon caucus challenger,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois) said in a statement. “Washington Republicans should immediately disavow Lauren Boebert and her extremist, dangerous conspiracy theories.”

Boebert previously expressed interest in the QAnon conspiracy theory that forces within the White House are working to undermine Trump.

“Everything I’ve heard of Q — I hope this is real,” she said in an interview. “Because it only means America is getting stronger and better and people are returning to conservative values.”

However, Boebert has denounced QAnon calling herself “not a follower” and reports that she expressed interest in it “fake news.”

She also tweeted that since her victory, she has spoken with Trump, who called her “DYNAMO.”

“One thing (about Tipton’s loss) shows is that in a time when people are really justifiably anxious for lots of reasons, our window of possibilities in politics is perhaps a little broader than sometimes we might give politics credit for,” Paul DeBell, an assistant professor of political science at Fort Lewis College, told the Denver Post.

Democrats plan to contest the seat with nominee Dianne Mitsch Bush, 70, a former lawmaker and Routt County commissioner. Mitsch Bush lost to Tipton in 2018 by 8%, despite outspending him.

Mitsch Bush’s campaign has been gaining traction as Democrats seek to block Boebert, but the race is still up in the air.

“Since winning our primary on Tuesday, our fundraising has skyrocketed, our followers have more than doubled, and our volunteer sign ups have increased 7 fold,” Mitsch Bush tweeted. “This is what momentum looks like. This is how we win.”

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