Gun rights activist Lauren Boebert defeated Rep. Scott TiptonScott R. TiptonBoebert discloses husband's earnings as consultant for energy firm Gosar's office denies he will appear on popular QAnon talk show Democrats press to bar lawmakers from carrying guns in the Capitol MORE (R) in a Republican primary, delivering a surprise upset over the five-term lawmaker.
Boebert gained national recognition for her ownership of Shooters Grill, a restaurant that drew headlines for allowing its waiting staff to openly carry firearms.
Colorado's 3rd District, which spans from the northwest of the state to the southeast plains, is 99 percent rural and leans Republican. It last elected a Democrat in 2008 before then-Rep. John Salazar (D) was ousted in 2010 by Tipton.
Tipton, who was endorsed by President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE, is now the third GOP lawmaker to be defeated this cycle after Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingHouse votes to censure Gosar and boot him from committees Pelosi on Gosar punishment: 'It's an emergency' GOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing MORE (Iowa) and Rep. Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanCheney calls out Fox over new Tucker Carlson promo House Democrats select Riggleman as Jan. 6 committee adviser Virginia Democrats seek to tie Youngkin to Trump's election claims MORE (Va.). Riggleman was defeated by Republican Bob Good at a party convention rather than a primary.
Among Democrats, Rep. Dan Lipinski (Ill.) was ousted in a primary earlier this year by progressive Marie Newman and Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell NYC snafu the latest flub from a broken elections agency Cynthia Nixon backs primary challenger to Rep. Carolyn Maloney MORE (N.Y.) appeared likely to lose his seat to progressive challenger Jamaal Bowman as votes continue to be counted following last week's primary.
Boebert, who is often pictured toting a gun on her hip, ran to Tipton’s right, casting herself as someone who “believes in personal freedom, citizen rights, and upholding the Constitution of the United States” and is an “avid supporter” of the president.
“There is a battle for the heart and soul of our country that I intend on helping win,” she says on her campaign website. “I’m running for Congress to stand up for our conservative values, address our current representatives’ failed promises, and put far-left Democrats back in their place.”
In November, Boebert will face off against former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush (D), who prevailed in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.
Trump congratulated Boebert on her win, saying in a tweet, "Congratulations on a really great win!"
Congratulations on a really great win! https://t.co/rMpFiV6LvY— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2020
Boebert has torn into Tipton over his votes to provide coronavirus relief funds to cities like Boulder and for an agriculture bill in December that included a path to legal status for millions of undocumented immigrant workers.
"In December, Scott Tipton voted alongside Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNews media's sausage-making obsession helps no one Klobuchar confident spending bill will be finished before Christmas Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE to give millions of illegal immigrants amnesty and hand them a billion of our taxpayer dollars. In April, Scott Tipton joined AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezRestless progressives eye 2024 Five issues that will define the months until the midterms GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE] and her Squad to bailout Boulder. In June, I plan on term-limiting Scott Tipton," Boebert said in an ad this month.
Tipton also did not spend any money this cycle on television ads, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
Boebert, who made headlines last year for challenging former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke seizes on Texas power grid in bid against Abbott McConaughey on Texas run: 'I will let you know shortly' O'Rourke raises M in first 24 hours of Texas governor campaign MORE (D-Texas) over his gun buyback program at a campaign event, has also expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Boebert is not the first Republican backer of the conspiracy theory to win a congressional primary this cycle. The theory posits that Trump and the military are working together to expose and arrest a shadowy cabal of global elites and Democratic establishment figures who control the government and run a global child sex trafficking ring.
When Boebert appeared on a right-wing internet show named "Steel Truth" in May, she was asked her thoughts on Q, the mysterious figure who posts anonymous messages online that serve as the foundation for the conspiracy theory.
"I am familiar with that," she responded. "Everything I've heard of Q — I hope this is real. Because it only means America is getting stronger and better and people are returning to conservative values."
Marjorie Taylor Greene advanced to a runoff in the Republican primary race to represent a deep-red Georgia county earlier this month, while Jo Rae Perkins, who in since-deleted tweets said she stood with Q, won the party's Oregon Senate primary.
Chris Mills Rodrigo and Abigail Mihaly contributed.