Lauren Boebert beat a Colorado congressman. Is she the next GOP star?

Justin Wingerter, Denver Post
Lauren Boebert, owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, pulled off the summer’s biggest political upset by beating incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District primary.
RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

Ever since the Democratic wave of 2018, Travis Oliger, chair of the La Plata County Republican Party, has come to expect low turnout at the candidate meet-and-greets he arranges.

But earlier this year, when he looked out at a meet-and-greet crowd in his Democratic-leaning southwest Colorado county, there were a lot of young, unfamiliar faces and they were there to see a little-known candidate for Congress named Lauren Boebert.

“It was kind of like with Trump,” Oliger recalls of that unusually large gathering. “People showed up and came out to support Trump and they would tell me, ‘I’m not here to support the party, I really don’t like the Republicans, but I’m for Trump’ and it was like, ‘Wow, really?’ This is very similar.”

Boebert, a 33-year-old restaurant owner, pulled off the summer’s biggest political upset on June 30, toppling incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, a massive area that spans the western half of the state, along with southern Colorado. The political novice is now the front-runner to win Nov. 3 over Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush in this Republican-leaning district.

“She brings a certain amount of excitement to the Republican Party on the Western Slope that I don’t know we’ve had for a while,” said Kevin McCarney, chair of the Republican Party in Mesa County, where Boebert dominated Tipton.

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