GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Lauren Boebert is a restaurant owner and gun rights activist from Rifle and mother of four, and she’s optimistic her non-establishment style of conservative politics is what Congress needs right now.
Boebert stunned the GOP in Colorado and Washington after she defeated Scott Tipton in the June 30 state primary, winning 55 percent of the republican vote in the district.
Boebert tells KREX 5/Fox 4 she was inspired to run for Congress after she worked to gather signatures for the petition to ask voters to repeal the state’s National Popular Vote Law. Boebert and others’ signature gathering was successful, which lead to Proposition 113 landing on Colorado ballots this election cycle. A clip of Boebert also went viral in September 2019 when she confronted Beto O’Rourke about his gun control policies at one of his rallies in Colorado when he was running for president.
“During that time when I was working with the people to save our votes for president I heard the frustration, I saw the frustration in so many hearts in our district,” Boebert said in an interview with KREX 5/Fox 4’s Adrian Thomas. “Then shortly after that Beto O’Rourke came to Colorado and I learned that if I take a stand and speak up for what I believe in I can affect and represent millions.”
Boebert is in a huge race against democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, a former Routt County commissioner and state representative from Steamboat Springs. A key issue in this campaign is healthcare. Diane Mitsch Bush says Boebert wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Boebert says she won’t let Americans lose their current healthcare, and that her opponent is for Medicare for All, and kicking people off their insurance plans provided by employers. This is an accusation Mitsch Bush denies.
“I wouldn’t vote on any legislation that takes insurance away from the American citizens,” Boebert said. “If you look at socialized medicine, immediately 150 million Americans would be kicked off of their private insurance plan. We need to have sensible solutions that don’t involve the government stepping in and making decisions for us.”
In September, Diane Mitsch Bush released this statement regarding her plan for healthcare in the Durango Herald: “I have specific plans to improve health care on the Western Slope and in Southern Colorado. I don’t support eliminating private insurance. People who have good coverage now should be able to keep it. I will work on five other health care solutions: funding rural health care, ending surprise billing, lowering prescription drug costs by authorizing Medicare to negotiate prices, fully funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program and preserving the Medicaid expansion authorized by the ACA. Many in our district now rely on Medicaid; COVID-19 has increased the need.”
Despite democrat attacks, Boebert says protection for those with pre-existing conditions will always be included in any future healthcare plan she would support. Protection for people with pre-existing conditions is currently a key element of the Affordable Care Act.
“We have made promises to the American people with pre-existing conditions,” Boebert said. And me and many other republicans have gone on record saying we will uphold those promises that were made.”
Boebert has also been the subject of attack ads from the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee, or the DCCC. A spokesperson for the the Washington-based group says the DCCC has spent over $631,000 in television ads in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District promoting Diane Mitsch Bush and attacking Boebert. The DCCC has highlighted Boebert’s run-ins with law enforcement in years past, which includes minor arrests. Boebert says she’s not worried.
“I’m not worried about it, talk about making a mountain out of a molehill,” Boebert said “I had a traffic accident where I self-reported it. There were no injuries, there was no alcohol. I forgot to pay my ticket, I paid the $100 fine, and got a pretty little mug shot the DCCC loves to use.”
A big question facing congressional candidates like Boebert right now is COVID-19 legislation and how they might address the pandemic if elected.
“First and foremost I think the best stimulus is to get America open for business again,” Boebert said. “There are so many small businesses that will never open their doors again because of this shutdown. I’m proud that I was on the front lines getting small businesses open in our area.”
Before she won in the June primary, Boebert made headlines opening her restaurant, Shooters Grill, for in-person dining in Rifle back in May, going against Garfield County’s stay at home orders.
“I took a stand, I opened responsibly, I followed CDC guidelines,” she said. “I opened at 30 percent capacity, we had all the procedures in place. I was shut down for about a week. But I’m okay with that.”
Boebert is a close friend of President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. This summer she’s held two events in Grand Junction with senior Trump Campaign advisor John Pence, nephew of Vice President Mike Pence, and has joined the president and the First Family at campaign events as well as attending President Trump’s Republican National Convention nomination acceptance speech at the White House.
In an era of vastly divided government in Washington, Boebert feels there are issues that can bring both sides together.
“Our economy is something we can all agree on. We can all agree that we need a good, strong economy. We need a good, strong military, we don’t need to be the world’s police fighting in endless wars,” she said. “I think our energy is something we can all come together on. Republicans get a bad wrap when it comes to the environment and I don’t agree with that.”
Boebert faces Diane Mitsch Bush on Election Day on Nov. 3. Next week, KREX 5/Fox 4 will have an exclusive interview with Diane Mitsch Bush in Steamboat Springs to discuss the race for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District as well as key campaign issues from her perspective.