Gun-toting restaurateur upsets 5-term Colorado congressman

DENVER — (AP) — A pistol-packing restaurant owner who has expressed support for a far-right conspiracy theory has upset five-term U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado's primary elections.

Tipton became the fourth House member to lose renomination bids this year. Republican Reps. Steve King of Iowa and Denver Riggleman of Virginia, and Democrat Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, have already been ousted by challengers.

He lost Tuesday to Lauren Boebert, the owner of a gun-friendly restaurant in a western Colorado town called Rifle. Earlier this year, Boebert said in an interview that she was “very familiar” with the QAnon conspiracy theory, but she stopped short of saying she was a follower.

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“Everything that I’ve heard of Q, I hope that this is real because it only means that America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values,” she told interviewer Ann Vandersteel.

QAnon followers believe that Trump is fighting enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals. The QAnon name comes from online clues purportedly posted by a high-ranking government official known as “Q.”

Boebert won the primary for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District after a campaign in which she accused Tipton of not being sufficiently pro-Donald Trump even though the president had endorsed Tipton. Trump congratulated Boebert on Twitter, saying, “Congratulations on a really great win."

She will run in November’s general election against Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state lawmaker who won the Democratic nomination on Tuesday by defeating businessman James Iacino. Tipton defeated Mitsch Bush in the 2018 election to represent the 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses a swath of southern and western Colorado.

Tipton conceded in an email sent by his longtime campaign consultant Michael Fortney.

“(Third) District Republicans have decided who they want to run against the Democrats this November,” Tipton wrote. “I want to congratulate Lauren Boebert and wish her and her supporters well.”

Boebert made a name for herself after loudly protesting Democratic Gov. Jared Polis’ orders to close businesses to fight the coronavirus pandemic. She opened her Shooters Grill restaurant in defiance of closure orders.

Boebert confronted then-Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke during a stop last year by in the Denver suburb of Aurora, questioning him on suggestions he’d confiscate guns — a moment that landed her on Fox News.

“A sober look at the Tipton Record shows a back-burner representative that has failed to live up to his conservative chops that he touted on his Tea Party-inspired campaign trail,” Boebert wrote in a recent Aspen Times column. “If his record lived up to his campaign rhetoric, I wouldn’t feel so compelled to run.”

Lauren Boebert waits for returns during a watch party in Grand Junction, Colo., Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Boebert defeated five-term Rep. Scott Tipton in the Republican primary in the 3rd Congressional District. (McKenzie Lange/The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel via AP)
Lauren Boebert waits for returns during a watch party in Grand Junction, Colo., Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Boebert defeated five-term Rep. Scott Tipton in the Republican primary in the 3rd Congressional District. (McKenzie Lange/The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel via AP) (McKenzie Lange)
FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, file photo, from left, U.S. Rep. Doug Lanborn, R-Colo., U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., follow Todd Ricketts, finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, off the stage as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs, Colo. Tipton was defeated by right-wing primary challenger Lauren Boebert in Colorado's 3rd congressional district primary, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, file photo, from left, U.S. Rep. Doug Lanborn, R-Colo., U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., follow Todd Ricketts, finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, off the stage as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs, Colo. Tipton was defeated by right-wing primary challenger Lauren Boebert in Colorado's 3rd congressional district primary, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File) (David Zalubowski)
Businesswoman Lauren Boebert speaks during a watch party in Grand Junction, Colo., after polls closed in Colorado's primary, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Boebert defeated five-term Rep. Scott Tipton in the Republican primary in the 3rd Congressional District. (McKenzie Lange/The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel via AP)
Businesswoman Lauren Boebert speaks during a watch party in Grand Junction, Colo., after polls closed in Colorado's primary, Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Boebert defeated five-term Rep. Scott Tipton in the Republican primary in the 3rd Congressional District. (McKenzie Lange/The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel via AP) (McKenzie Lange)
Businesswoman Lauren Boebert, right, and Janet Rowland, left, react to early returns during a watch party in Grand Junction, Colo., after polls closed in Colorado's primary Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Boebert defeated five-term Rep. Scott Tipton in the Republican primary in the state's 3rd Congressional District. (Christopher Tomlinson/The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel via AP)
Businesswoman Lauren Boebert, right, and Janet Rowland, left, react to early returns during a watch party in Grand Junction, Colo., after polls closed in Colorado's primary Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Boebert defeated five-term Rep. Scott Tipton in the Republican primary in the state's 3rd Congressional District. (Christopher Tomlinson/The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel via AP) (Christopher Tomlinson)
Businesswoman Lauren Boebert speaks at a campaign rally after polls closed in Colorado's primary, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Grand Junction, Colo. Boebert defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District. (McKenzie Lange//The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel via AP)
Businesswoman Lauren Boebert speaks at a campaign rally after polls closed in Colorado's primary, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Grand Junction, Colo. Boebert defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District. (McKenzie Lange//The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel via AP) (McKenzie Lange)
Election judge Michael Michalek wears a face mask while collecting ballots as voters drop them off at a drive-thru location outside the Denver Election Commission building Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Election judge Michael Michalek wears a face mask while collecting ballots as voters drop them off at a drive-thru location outside the Denver Election Commission building Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski)
A roll of stickers for distribution to voters sits on a table at a drive-thru drop-off location to collect ballots outside the Denver Election Commission Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A roll of stickers for distribution to voters sits on a table at a drive-thru drop-off location to collect ballots outside the Denver Election Commission Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski)
Election judge Deborah Guess, back, looks on as Brenton Weyi drops off his ballot at a drive-thru location outside the Denver Election Commission building Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Election judge Deborah Guess, back, looks on as Brenton Weyi drops off his ballot at a drive-thru location outside the Denver Election Commission building Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski)
Election judge Michael Michalek gestures to a voter after taking her ballot at a drive-thru location outside the Denver Election Commission building, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Election judge Michael Michalek gestures to a voter after taking her ballot at a drive-thru location outside the Denver Election Commission building, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski)
Election judges work as a sign marks the way for motorists to drop off their ballots at a mobile location in the Swansea neighborhood, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Election judges work as a sign marks the way for motorists to drop off their ballots at a mobile location in the Swansea neighborhood, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski)
Election judges check in a voter at a mobile location in the Swansea neighborhood, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Election judges check in a voter at a mobile location in the Swansea neighborhood, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski)
Election judge John Seward, left, hands a ballot to Nicholas Garza as voters pick up—and drop off—their ballots at a drive-thru location outside the Denver Election Commission building, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Election judge John Seward, left, hands a ballot to Nicholas Garza as voters pick up—and drop off—their ballots at a drive-thru location outside the Denver Election Commission building, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) (David Zalubowski)