West Slope restaurateur enters congressional race

Lauren Boebert

A Western Colorado businesswoman has announced her candidacy for Congress.

Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Rifle, said she’s running for election in the 3rd Congressional District.

That sets up a potential primary challenge next year against U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican from Cortez. Tipton was first elected in 2010 and since has been re-elected four times.

Diane Mitsch Bush, a Democrat from Steamboat Springs, lost in a race against Tipton in 2018. Bush has announced a second run in 2020.

Boebert said she wants to join in what she said is a battle for the heart and soul of the United States. “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.”

Boebert started and operates Shooters Grill in Rifle. The restaurant has drawn national attention for waitstaff that wears holstered — and loaded — sidearms.

Boebert also attracted attention when she attended a Colorado town hall meeting with Beto O’Rourke, a former Democratic congressman from Texas campaigning at the time for president. Boebert responded to a proposal from O’Rourke for a  mandatory buyback of semi-automatic assault rifles and his statement, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” Boebert told O’Rourke: “I’m here to say, ‘Hell, no, you’re not.’”

Boebert subsequently attended a meeting of the Aspen City Council to oppose an ordinance banning firearms in city buildings as well as a rally in Denver to oppose a state law allowing courts to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who could present a danger to others or themselves.

Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario endorsed Boebert’s campaign. “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.”

Boebert said she’s running because Tipton hasn’t been active enough in advocating for conservative ideas and issues. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the squad and the rest of these left-wing lunatics are taking a wrecking ball to our country while our current representative stays utterly silent,” Boebert said. “Every time AOC and the rest of the squad pipes up with another crazy idea, I will remind them that our belief in God, country and family are what built the United States of America into the greatest nation the world has ever known.”