Even though the target of their ire failed to appear, progressives in La Plata County who planned to protest Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) policies didn’t let her absence prevent them from getting their message heard. Rocky Mountain Values, Durango Indivisibles and other left-leaning activists had initially planned to protest outside the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, where Boebert and her colleague U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) were scheduled to co-headline the county GOP’s annual fundraising dinner. However, the failure of House Republicans to make any progress on a budget deal in advance of next Saturday’s federal government shutdown deadline kept them both in D.C. over the weekend.

Instead, the protestors gathered outside the offices of the Durango Herald, the region’s newspaper of record which the La Plata Republicans recently announced they would no longer allow to cover their events.

Boebert’s constituents made their frustrations with her policy positions clear with a variety of signs, including, “Boebert votes against Vets,” “Boebert votes against Medicare,” “Care for your Constituents not Your Political Gain,” and “Boebert Protect Our Benefits.”

“Boebert voted against every bill she’s now taking credit for,” said protestor Harrison Wendt. “She voted against lowering health care and prescription drug costs, against the infrastructure investments now popping up all over Colorado, and against multiple bills seeking to help our Veterans.”

Hope Scheppelman, who serves as both Secretary of the La Plata GOP and Vice Chair of the state party, credited Boebert and Gaetz with finding a replacement speaker:

Charlie Kirk from Turning Point USA was our keynote speaker for our Lincoln Day Dinner,” wrote Scheppelman on her Facebook page. “Congresswoman Lauren Boebert & Congressman Matt Gaetz were our original Keynote speakers. Unfortunately, Congress was called back into session and they were not able to attend. The Congresswoman and the Congressman worked it out that we received the next best thing! Charlie Kirk! What a surprise. Thank you so much for a fantastic substitute!”

Boebert also took to Facebook to thank Kirk for covering for her.

“I’m so grateful to Charlie Kirk for stepping in at last night’s La Plata County Republicans Lincoln Day Dinner while Rep. Matt Gaetz and I keep fighting to cut spending in D.C.,” wrote Boebert. “I wish I could have been there but we’ve got a job to do in Congress!”