The two Democratic state lawmakers from the Vail area are blasting Republican Colorado congressional candidate Lauren Boebert for legitimizing the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory that the FBI has designated a domestic terror threat since 2019.
In an interview last week with RealVail.com, state Rep. Dylan Roberts, an Avon Democrat who represents Eagle and Routt counties, said the amalgamation of conspiracy theories known as QAnon “should be denounced publicly and vociferously by elected leaders and candidates on both sides of the aisle.”
Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, who represents Eagle, Chaffee, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Lake and Pitkin counties, posted a string of tweets last week critical of anyone who fails to disavow QAnon, which falsely holds that luminaries such as the actor Tom Hanks and the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalia Lama are pedophiles.
“QAnon origin theory also proposed that these same people eat children to gain their life force. This absolutely off the rails theory is now a policy position of candidates such as @laurenboebert and @realdonaldtrump,” Donovan tweeted. “We should be concerned about the level of legitimacy this group has received. These myths are anti-Semitic, encourage violence, and no part of them are tied to fact.”
Boebert’s campaign maintains the Republican candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses most of the Western Slope of Colorado – including two-thirds of Eagle County — is not a QAnon follower and that she spoke approvingly of it in the past when not fully informed.
“Everything that I’ve heard of Q, I hope that this is real, because it only means America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values, and that’s what I am for,” Boebert said. “And so everything that I have heard of this movement is only motivating and encouraging and bringing people together stronger, and if this is real, then it could be really great for our country.”
The western two-thirds of Eagle County is in CD3, although where Roberts lives in Avon is just over the line in Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse’s CD2. Donovan lives in Vail, which is in CD2, but ranches to the west in CD3; most of her seven-county district is in the 29-county CD3.
When Boebert tweeted out a photo of herself over the weekend with Republican U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, who’s also chair of the Colorado GOP, proclaiming it was a honor to have him in her district, Donovan shot back: “It’s not your district.”
President Donald Trump, who fully supports Boebert after her primary win over five-term incumbent Scott Tipton, recently refused to reject the QAnon conspiracy and its followers – instead saying he’s heard they “love our country” and “supposedly like me.” Trump over the weekend tweeted his support for violent right-wing militias that back him and oppose protestors rallying to end racial injustice.
Roberts, who succeeded Boebert’s Democratic congressional opponent, Diane Mitsch Bush, in state House District 26, says it’s dangerous for Trump and Boebert to play with QAnon fire.
“The fact the president of the United States, the leader of the free world and the most powerful person on our planet, seems to gauge acceptance of [QAnon followers] based off of whether they like him or not is a baffling,” Roberts said. “And to have congressional candidates across the country pick up that mantle and either share sympathy or empathy with their cause or openly embrace their cause is a real sign of the partisan times that we’re living in right now. It’s scary.”
Roberts pointed to a growing amount of bipartisan condemnation of QAnon, which started in 2017 with posts from the anonymous “Q” claiming a deep-state cabal of Satan-worshiping, cannibalistic, pedophiliac Democrats are out to get Trump.
“It’s dangerous, and I think, to some extent, it’s hard to tell if people actually believe that stuff or if they’re just embracing it to win elections,” Roberts said. “Both options are very terrible and scary for our country.”
A growing number of top Republicans have condemned QAnon, from House Leader Kevin McCarthy to of California to Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana to Liz Cheney of Wyoming. But other GOP candidates are embracing QAnon, and Q supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is expected to win in her heavily Republican district in November.
Mitsch Bush has used Boebert’s statements on QAnon in campaign emails like this one: “Boebert cozying up to what Republican Liz Cheney called ‘dangerous lunacy’ should disqualify her from serving in Congress. Unfortunately, it’s up to us to stop that from happening.”
Last week a bipartisan resolution condemning QAnon was introduced in the House and sent to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. The resolution is sponsored by Denver Riggleman, a Republican from Virginia, and Tom Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey.
A Boebert campaign spokeswoman did not return an email requesting comment on whether Boebert would back the resolution condemning QAnon.