Election 2024

Lauren Boebert claims “swampy” lawmakers rigged her race as special election jeopardizes her chances

Rep. Lauren Boebert, (R-CO) during the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2023, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on Saturday, March 4, 2023.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, (R-CO) at the 2023 Conservative Political Action Conference Photo: Jack Gruber / USA TODAY NETWORK via IMAGN

As anti-LGBTQ+ Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) re-election plan continues to fall apart, she’s now claiming that the upcoming election has been rigged against her and is begging her supporters for money

In December 2023, Boebert switched her re-election campaign from Colorado’s Third District (where many expected her to lose) to the state’s more conservative Fourth District, where she faces 10 other Republican primary opponents. Her plan to win re-election there was made more complicated last week when the district’s incumbent, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), announced that he would resign on March 22.

Buck’s resignation triggered a special election to fill Buck’s seat for the rest of the year. Colorado’s gay Gov. Jared Polis (D) scheduled the special election for June 25, which is also the date of the state’s primary elections. This essentially forces Republican voters to vote twice to fill Buck’s seat: one vote for the special election candidate who’ll fill his seat for the rest of the year and another vote for the Republican primary election candidate who’ll face off against a Democratic opponent for Buck’s seat in the November general election.

This has put Boebert in a tricky position. To participate in the special election, Boebert would have to resign from her current congressional seat, which would trigger a special election to replace her in her district for the rest of the year. Her resignation would not only reduce the Republicans’ already-thin five-vote majority in the U.S. House to a four-vote majority, but if a Democrat won the special election to replace her, it would effectively flip her district from red to blue.

Boebert said she won’t resign her current Third District seat to participate in the Fourth District special election. But that has complicated her plans to win the Fourth District. Most voters may choose the same Republican candidate for both the special and primary elections rather than splitting their vote between two candidates — especially since whoever fills Buck’s seat for the rest of the year will benefit from increased name recognition among voters during the November general election.

“Essentially what Lauren’s going to be asking voters to do is to vote for somebody else in the special election, but then against that same person in the primary and instead vote for her. And that’s — that’s definitely a heavier lift,” Republican strategist Ryan Lynch told The Hill.

In an angry statement, Boebert wrote, “The establishment concocted a swampy backroom deal to try to rig an election I’m winning by 25 points.” Her statistic came from a late February poll showing her winning 32% of 558 likely local voters.

“Forcing an unnecessary Special Election on the same day as the Primary Election will confuse voters, result in a lame duck Congressman on Day One, and leave the 4th District with no representation for more than three months,” she wrote. In politics, a “lame duck” refers to an elected official with limited political influence because of the brief remaining time they have in left office before their successor takes over.

Buck responded to her claims, calling them “ridiculous,” and adding that he’s not “giving anybody an advantage or disadvantage” in the race.

On Monday, Boebert begged her social media followers to fund her campaign, writing, “It’s Monday and we’re going to do a MAGA Monday Money Bomb! As you know, I’m in the fight of my political career in Colorado’s 4th District. The establishment has done all they can to take me out and without the funds to fight back, they just might win!”

During a January Republican primary debate, one of her competitors called her out as a “carpetbagger,” a term for a geographic outsider who tries to profit off of a place they’re new to.

State Rep. Richard Holtorf (R), another of Boebert’s opponents, asked, “Does she think we’re that stupid? Does she think we’re going to be fooled by this trickery?… Seat shopping isn’t something voters look kindly on.”

Former state Sen. Ted Harvey (R) — who isn’t running for the seat — also piled onto Boebert, saying, “She has lost the confidence of the conservative voters in the Third Congressional District, so much so that she was probably going to lose that seat. And so now she’s decided to cling to power and continue to be a career politician. It’s sad, first and foremost, because she ran to say that she wasn’t going to be a career politician.”

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