Election 2024

Colorado GOP turns on Lauren Boebert & says her Beetlejuice behavior should cost her reelection

Rep. Lauren Boebert
Rep. Lauren Boebert Photo: Shutterstock

Colorado Republicans are rejecting Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and lining up behind her primary opponent, Jeff Hurd, after she was caught vaping and groping her date during a September 10 performance of Beetlejuice at the Buell Theater in Denver.

Several prominent state Republicans recently endorsed Hurd and slammed Boebert in interviews with Time magazine — including former Colorado Governor Bill Owens, Delta County Commissioner Don Suppes, and Mesa County Commissioners Cody Davis and Bobbie Daniel.

Though she initially denied doing anything wrong at the Beetlejuice performance, auditorium camera footage showed that Boebert was indeed vaping, as well as groping and being groped by Quinn Gallagher, the owner of an Aspen bar that holds drag performances. Boebert also took a picture of the cast, which is forbidden by theater rules. After multiple patrons complained about her behavior, she was kicked out. While leaving, she flipped her middle finger at the usher and yelled, “Do you know who I am?”

Her unflattering behavior especially concerns Republicans since she barely won her 2022 re-election campaign against Democratic challenger Adam Frisch, securing her victory by just 546 votes. Frisch is running against Boebert again in 2024, so Republicans want to run a strong candidate who isn’t weighed down with Boebert’s scandals and baggage to make sure they defeat Frisch.

“Just after the congresswoman’s issues at the theater, I just decided that we had to do something different,” said Suppes, who endorsed Hurd this month. “So I started reaching out and trying to make sure that we had the right person in that seat for the next election.”

Davis told the aforementioned publication, “I’ve defended Lauren for [two-and-a-half] years now, hoping that things would improve and she’d become a more effective leader. I think she was about to round that corner, and I was complimentary of that, but what she did at Beetlejuice was altogether indefensible.”

Daniel said, “Conservatives are voting, and thousands did not vote for [Boebert] the incumbent [in the last election]; that’s a problem…. [After Boebert’s] latest round of self-inflicted wounds… we have to face the fact we can’t keep going on this trajectory and keep this seat.”

Colorado State Rep. Matt Soper said that after Boebert’s bad behavior at Beetlejuice, “People once again were reminded of the fact that we don’t really want our member of Congress making international news.” 

Jeff Hurd himself has rejected Boebert’s far-right antics — like her heckling of President Joe Biden at his 2022 State of the Union address, her refusal to denounce white supremacy, and her repeated stoking of anti-LGBTQ+ violence. He has pledged to work with Democrats on water and agricultural issues in a way that Boebert can’t because she has defined herself as so anti-Democrat.

Hurd said, “I think, for a number of people, [the Beetlejuice behavior] was the last straw.”

Former Republican Colorado Governor Bill Owens was a bit more understated, saying, “I am proud to endorse Jeff Hurd for U.S. Congress for the 3rd district. Jeff is a man of character. He is a hardworking, smart, and sincere leader who will deliver for the district.”

Boebert eventually apologized for her behavior. “The past few days have been difficult and humbling, and I’m truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community,” the statement read. “There’s no perfect blueprint for going through a public and difficult divorce. I’ve tried to handle it with strength and grace as best I can, but I simply fell short of my values on Sunday… I was a little too eccentric!”

Following the release of the theater’s security video, critics accused Boebert of hypocrisy for engaging in sexualized behavior during a performance at which children were present. Boebert has used her position in Congress to vilify the LGBTQ+ community under the guise of protecting children from “sexualization” and “grooming.” She has described taking children to drag shows as “child abuse.”

“Lauren Boebert has talked a lot about LGBTQ people, ‘appropriate behavior.’ And now she gets caught fondling her partner in a packed theatre,” journalist and trans activist Erin Reed wrote on Twitter. “Imagine for one moment a trans person was caught doing this. The news stories. The bills. The media circus.”

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