Who Is Lauren Boebert? Right-Wing Primary Challenger Beats Trump-Backed Incumbent

President Donald Trump has praised a right-wing political newcomer for defeating the five-term incumbent he himself had backed in a major primary upset in Colorado on Tuesday.

"Congratulations on a really great win!' Trump wrote in a tweet, praising Lauren Boebert, the 33-year-old candidate who claimed victory against Rep. Scott Tipton.

Boebart, an outspoken gun-rights activist who has expressed support for the pro-Trump conspiracy theory QAnon, also took to Twitter to thank supporters following her win.

"America is and always will be the greatest country in the world. Thank you, Colorado! This is the honor of a lifetime," she said, adding: "Now, the hard work begins to take back the House in November!"

On her campaign website, Boebert, a strong Trump supporter, is described as a "Coloradoan living on the Western Slope who believes in personal freedom, citizen rights, and upholding the Constitution of the United States."

In the lead-up to Tuesday's primary race, however, Boebart had largely been known for her gun rights activism, with the candidate running a restaurant called Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, where staff "proudly open carry as they serve their customers," according to Boebart's campaign website.

Boebart also gained attention in September 2019 after she confronted former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke during a town-hall meeting in Aurora, where he had pledged to seize assault rifles in the state.

"I am here to say: Hell, no, you're not," Boebart said, vowing to fight O'Rourke's plan.

According to The Denver Post, the gun rights activist had driven three hours from Rifle to the event to speak out against O'Rourke's plan.

"Self-defense is a right that we have that shall not be infringed in America," she said at the time.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, Boebert also gained attention after she spoke out against Democratic Gov. Jared Polis' orders for businesses to close to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Defying Polis' orders, Boebert opened Shooters Grill, forcing county officials to have to obtain a cease-and-desist letter from a district judge to see the restaurant closed.

Boebert has also raised eyebrows after speaking approvingly of the QAnon far-right conspiracy theory, which makes claims of a "deep state" plot against Trump and his supporters.

Speaking during an appearance on the web show Steel Truth, which has been associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory, Boebert said: "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."

In a statement sent to Newsweek, Boebert said she was glad that "deep state activities that undermine the President" were being investigated. However, she said: "I don't follow QAnon."

Now, Boebert is set to run in November's election against Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state lawmaker who claimed the Democratic nomination on Tuesday, to represent Colorado's 3rd Congressional district.

While Tipton has represented the district since January 2011, it was previously represented by a Democrat, John Salazar, who held office from January 2005 to the start of 2011.

This article has been updated with a statement from Lauren Boebert.

Lauren Boebert
Shooters Grill owner Lauren Boebert poses for a portrait in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado on April 24, 2018. Boebart has defeated five-term incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton in a primary upset. EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty