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Gun rights activist who supports QAnon defeats five-term congressman endorsed by Trump

Upset in Colorado GOP primary race
Upset in Colorado GOP primary race 10:35

A restaurant owner and political newcomer in Colorado scored an upset Republican primary victory Tuesday over a five-term congressman endorsed by President Trump. Lauren Boebert has made headlines for defying coronavirus restrictions, boosting the QAnon conspiracy theory and staunchly supporting guns — and now she's headed to the general election in November.

Boebert, 33, owns the Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, where workers openly carry guns while serving customers. "CBS This Morning" asked Boebert in a 2014 profile about the possibility of a waitress shooting a customer. She replied, "We would go through extreme circumstances before that was our final option."

Boebert defeated incumbent Representative Scott Tipton in the GOP primary for Colorado's massive third congressional district, which covers the western portion of the state, including the cities of Pueblo, Aspen and Grand Junction.

Tipton has represented the district since 2011 and received an endorsement from Mr. Trump, who said on Twitter that Tipton is "a great supporter of the #MAGA Agenda." Mr. Trump once boasted about his perfect record of endorsing winning congressional candidates, but Tipton is now the third Republican in three weeks to lose despite getting support from the president. 

After Boebert's win, Mr. Trump retweeted one of her campaign videos from May and wrote, "Congratulations on a really great win!"

Boebert gained wider recognition in 2019 when she confronted then-presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on gun control while he was campaigning in Aurora. O'Rourke had said in a Democratic primary debate, "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47." Boebert was seen on camera telling O'Rourke, "Hell, no, you're not."

More recently, Boebert defied Colorado's coronavirus restrictions and kept her restaurant open to dine-in customers. CBS Denver reports a judge issued a cease-and-desist letter to shut the establishment down.

Boebert has also shown support for QAnon, a broad and baseless conspiracy theory involving a supposed "deep state" plot to take down Mr. Trump and entangling a wide-ranging list of national and world leaders and celebrities in unfounded claims of child sex trafficking and other malfeasance.

"Everything I've heard of Q — I hope this is real, because it only means America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values, and that's what I am for," Boebert said in a June interview with Steel Truth, a podcast that supports QAnon. "And so everything that I have heard of this movement is only motivating and encouraging and bringing people together stronger, and if this is real, then it could be really great for our country."

Boebert is one of several recent Republican primary winners to endorse the QAnon conspiracy. Oregon GOP Senate candidate Joe Rae Perkins said in his victory speech, "I stand with Q and the team." And Marjorie Taylor Greene, a congressional candidate in Georgia, posted a video in 2017 saying she supported QAnon and wanted to "take this global cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles out," referencing some of the theory's fringe and unfounded beliefs. 

In the November election, Boebert will face Democratic candidate Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state legislation who unsuccessfully ran against Tipton in 2018. 

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