Upated Nov. 4 @ 7:28 a.m.
Republican newcomer Lauren Boebert has held off Diane Mitsch Bush and kept Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District in GOP hands.
Boebert declared victory before the Associated Press had called the race. As Tuesday night became Wednesday morning, Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush of Steamboat Springs, who said "the voters have spoken," conceded in the race to represent the Western Slope and Southern Colorado.
The AP later called the race Wednesday morning at 7:20 a.m. for Boebert.
"I'm so excited to be on the front lines, fighting for you each and every day," Boebert said on election night. "I know exactly who I am fighting for, why I'm in here."
This is the first time a woman will represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.
Boebert, a Rifle restaurant owner and married mother of four, ran as a no-compromise conservative, promising to support President Donald Trump’s agenda and the Constitution, and challenge Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
She burst on Colorado’s political scene when she confronted then-presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke in September 2019 over gun rights.
“I was one of the gun-owning Americans who heard you speak regarding your ‘Hell yes I’m going to take your AR-15s and AK-47s,’” she told O’Rourke. “Well, I’m here to say ‘Hell no you’re not.’”
Her easy defeat of incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton in the primary in June, where she ran to the right of Tipton, took many people by surprise. He had nabbed the endorsement of Trump in the primary.
Even with the pandemic, Boebert campaigned in person across the district right up until Election Day. Trump also helped her campaign, endorsing her campaign, inviting Boebert to the White House when he accepted the Republican nomination, and holding a short telerally with Boebert in October.
Boebert has never held political office and offered little in the way of policy proposals during her run. Instead, she put out a Contract with Colorado that spoke of broad conservative ideals but did not lay out many specific proposals for her large congressional district that spans liberal resort towns to deep red ranching communities. Her campaign spokesperson said her supporters liked her different approach to Congress, that of a “citizen representative, as opposed to a career politician.”
“Boebert has been very smart about grabbing onto national stories,” said Paul DeBell, assistant professor of political science at Fort Lewis College in Durango. “Pitching herself as the Right’s AOC, for example, and saying that she's going to take on this, that, and the other sort of national-level Democrats.”
Delta resident Masandra Gray cast a vote for Democrat Joe Biden for president and Boebert for the House seat.
“She’s from here and we need a little bit of a change,” Gray said, explaining her vote.
In her concession statement, Mitsch Bush said, "Let's remember that so much more unites us than divides us." But she said, "The voters have spoken. I did not get enough votes to win."