WASHINGTON—With a victory of nearly 30,000 votes, gun rights activist and political newcomer Lauren Boebert will head to Washington in January to represent Colorado’s Third Congressional District.
Joshua Wilson, a political science professor at the University of Denver, said that Boebert’s ascent in politics was largely a result of her “doing her version of Trumpism.”
“Even if Trump is no longer president, his imprint on the party will persist through people like Boebert,” Wilson said.
Whether Boebert will ultimately play by Washington’s rules remains to be seen.
She has yet to lay out a specific policy agenda. Rather, she has offered vague promises to defend “freedom” and stop House Democrats.
The Republican Party has faced increased scrutiny over its lack of diversity in recent years. Now, Boebert is part of a record number of Republican women elected to Congress and the first woman to represent her district. The congresswoman-elect and owner of the open-carry restaurant Shooters Grill ousted five-term incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican whom President Trump endorsed.
Michael Beckel, research director with the political reform group Issue One, cheered the growing level of diversity within the party.
“It’s a good thing when Congress looks more like the American people,” Beckel said.
Beckel argued that it would “behoove” lawmakers to reach across the aisle if they want to achieve specific policy goals.
During her orientation trip in Washington, Bobert signaled some interest in reaching across the aisle.
Boebert told Gray TV that she hoped to “work on some more bipartisan issues with some smaller groups.” She would also like to “be on the frontlines” if Congress takes on healthcare and education.
“I didn’t get into this because I’m a politician,” Boebert said on the show. “I got fed up with the way that [the] government was over-regulating, overspending, and ultimately, destroying everything that we had going on at home.”
Boebert characterized her campaign as doing “more with less”—she entered the general election with just $10,000 — and sticking to a conservative message.
“As a citizen, I learned that I could make a difference if I spoke up about the things that matter most to me,” Boebert said in a statement. “Now I will have the opportunity to do that every day in Congress.”
Boebert emphasized throughout her campaign that she did not intend to build bridges with her more progressive colleagues in Congress.
Her most notable campaign promise has been to fight for “freedom and prosperity,” positioning herself as the Republican Party’s version of members like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and the so-called “Squad.”
As one of the more outspoken incoming freshman members of Congress, Boebert will likely face questions about her past statements on QAnon, a right-wing conspiracy theory.
In a May interview, Boebert said that she hoped Q “is real because it only means America is getting stronger and better and people are returning to conservative values.” She has since attempted to distance herself from this comment, arguing that she has “consistently said I am not a follower of and I do not believe in conspiracy theories.”
Boebert also said that her priority will be to “secure our rights, drain the swamp, and make sure our children never grow up in a socialist nation.” Boebert also told KHOW radio earlier this month that she hopes to not only help her district but “give voice to Colorado.”