Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, the gun-slinging conservative firebrand who was caught on security footage groping her date at a September performance of “Beetlejuice” in Denver, announced Wednesday she will not run for re-election to her current seat in the United States House of Representatives and instead contest the 2024 campaign in Colorado’s 4th congressional district, which spans the opposite side of the state.
Boebert was first elected to represent the Colorado’s western 3rd district in 2020, but only narrowly won reelection against 2022 Democratic challenger Adam Frisch, edging him by a mere 546 votes. Boebert’s decision to now run in Colorado’s easterly 4th district will allow her to avoid a rematch against Frisch, who has amassed an impressive $7.7 million war-chest versus her pot of $2.4 million.
In a five-minute video Boebert posted to social media Wednesday night announcing the plan, Boebert alluded to the well-funded onslaught she would draw in her current district, describing her plans as a way to “not allow dark money that is directed at destroying me personally to steal this seat.”
By clearing the way for a less controversial Republican, Boebert’s move improves the party’s chances of holding the 3rd district. Jeff Hurd, an attorney from Grand Junction, Colorado, had already entered the June Republican primary there, seeking to defeat Boebert and take on Frisch in the November general election. Hurd was endorsed by the Colorado Springs Gazette over Boebert in early December. “Incumbent Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert has little chance of winning [in November],” wrote the paper’s editorial board. “Boebert has a seemingly intractable image problem, which has manifested in lackluster financial support. She appears divisive at a time when voters want peace.”
Long before the Bettlejuice incident, Boebert regularly attracted negative attention for a range of controversial associations and assertions, including her ties to supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory and for insinuating Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was a terrorist. Her far-right politics and idiosyncrasies may find more favor in the 4th district, which is among the state’s most conservative; President Donald Trump carried the seat by about 20 percentage points over Democrat Joe Biden in 2020, according to the Washington Post.
But there, Boebert will face an already crowded GOP primary to replace Republican Rep. Ken Buck, filled with candidates with long established ties to the area. Buck announced in November he would not seek re-election, citing members of his party—like Boebert—who have refused to accept Trump lost the 2020 election.
Author: Abby Vesoulis