Five-Term, Trump Endorsed Republican Loses Primary to 33 Year-Old Populist Challenger

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Incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) has lost a primary challenge after he was accused of silence on key issues and abandoning his constituents by right-wing upstart Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s 3rd U.S. House district.

The 33 year-old Boebert won 54.6% to Rep. Tipton’s 45.4% share of the vote in the congressional primary.

“3rd District Republicans have decided who they want to run against the Democrats this November,” Rep. Scott Tipton conceded on Thursday night. “I want to congratulate Lauren Boebert and wish her and her supporters well.”

Tipton, a five-term Congressman, had previously received an endorsement from Trump, on the advice of House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

“Congressman @ScottRTipton is a great supporter of the #MAGA Agenda! He fights for your #2A rights and the Border Wall,” Trump tweeted. “Scott is working hard for Colorado and has my Complete and Total Endorsement! #CO03.”

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Trump congratulated Boebert after her victory.

“Congratulations on a really great win!” the President wrote on Twitter.

Boebert ran as a grassroots nationalist candidate to the right of Tipton, accusing him of being an establishment politician who was out of touch with his constituents on issues such as immigration and gun rights.

Boebert is best known for being the owner of the Shooters’ Grill in Rifle, Colorado. The firearms-themed restaurant has received extensive national media coverage by having all its wait staff open carry while serving food to customers. This has led it to become a popular tourist stop for gun owners passing through rural Colorado.

She also broke local COVID-19 restrictions and reopened her restaurant while the area was still locked down due to the virus. Though she received a notice informing her she must close her business, it remained open.

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Boebert’s win over Tipton is the third occasion in this election cycle where Republican voters have declined to nominate establishment candidates backed by Trump.

Previously, 24 year-old Madison Cawthorn won an upset landslide against Lynda Bennett, an ally of White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in North Carolina’s 11th district.

Before that, U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) lost his nominating convention in Virginia’s 5th district to outsider social conservative Bob Good, following Riggleman’s shift to the left on immigration and gay marriage.

Trump also urged primary voters to defeat anti-establishment Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) in Kentucky’s 3rd district, who then went on to trounce his primary challenger by a whopping 76% margin.

The results of these primaries demonstrate that much of Trump’s base is more focused on electing a candidate who shares the President’s values, rather than merely the candidate who has received the President’s official endorsement.