Second QAnon Supporting Candidate Wins House Primary
Republican Lauren Boebert previously made headlines for illegally reopening her gun-themed restaurant during the coronavirus lockdown
While some progressive Democratic outsiders have booked victories against stalwart incumbents, outsider Republicans have also produced upset victories over members of Congress.
Lauren Boebert, owner of Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, beat five-term incumbent Scott Tipton in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary. President Donald Trump endorsed Tipton, but Boebert ran a campaign questioning the congressman’s conservative credentials.
Boebert is a newcomer to politics and is the second Republican running for the House to have expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. QAnon followers believe ‘Q’ is exposing a deep state plan that is working against the wishes of President Trump.
On QAnon, Boebert said, “I hope that this is real because it only means America is getting stronger and better and people are returning to conservative values… Everything that I have heard of this movement is only motivating and encouraging.”
Boebert became the second Republican primed for the House to be connected to QAnon after Marjorie Taylor Greene received 41% of the vote in her Republican primary in Georgia. Green still has to win a second runoff election against a candidate she beat by 20 points.
Boebert’s restaurant vaulted her into the news on several occasions after involving herself in several hot-button political discussions.
She is an avid gun-rights activist, and all of her waitstaff wear holstered and loaded firearms while they serve barbecue at her restaurant. Her western-themed grill is decorated with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and many menu items have firearm-themed names.
Boebert’s interaction with then presidential-hopeful and outspoken proponent of gun control Beto O’Rourke made national headlines when she told him he would not take her guns away.
The second time her business made headlines was during the height of the coronavirus lockdown. Boebert opened her restaurant in defiance of public health orders and was subsequently shut down after opening to dine-in customers.
When Boebert opened her restaurant during the coronavirus shutdown, Bikers for Trump were some of the first patrons to return.
Trump Supporter with No Endorsement
Trump endorsed Boebert’s competition, but she has remained a steadfast supporter of the President. Bobert said that Trump was not aware of all of the facts of her campaign when he endorsed her opponent.
Despite his endorsement for Tipton, Trump congratulated Boebert on her victory.
Trump did not comment on Greene’s run in Georgia, and high-ranking Republicans distanced themselves from the Georgian for racist videos and comments.
Boebert’s gun-toting is much less controversial within the Republican Party, and no Republicans have yet distanced themselves from her despite her comments on QAnon.
Continued Right-Wing Push
Boebert’s victory in Colorado and Greene’s ascendance in Georgia indicate that despite Trump’s low polling numbers, many Republican voters still support candidates with similar politics to the President.
Madison Cawthorn, a 24-year-old from North Carolina, won his primary against another Trump-endorsed candidate last week. Similar to Boebert, the losing Trump-endorsed candidate seems less like a vote against Trump and more like an extension of his brand of politics.
Cawthorn listed Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, as one of his idols, and he is also a fan of the right-wing commentator Ben Shapiro.
While Cawthorn may not have been endorsed by Trump, his campaign promises tick all the boxes for a right-wing candidate in a similar vein as Trump. He rails against Congress and he plays into a growing nationalism on the right.
Major news outlets often frame wins like those of Cawthorn and Boebert as rejections of Trump endorsements, but their candidacies strongly rely on Trump’s brand of right-wing politics and are often a rejection of more established Republicans.
While column space continues to be wasted on ‘Never Trump’ Republicans, an insurgent right wing continues to book victories in primary elections.