Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP
Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.
Lauren Boebert, the Republican Colorado congresswoman who has relentlessly courted controversy since taking office in 2020, appears to have secured reelection by a razor-thin margin. Her opponent, Democrat Adam Frisch, announced Friday that he had called Boebert to concede.
The vote count isn’t quite final, and any election won by less than half a percentage point of the winner’s total automatically triggers a recount in Colorado. Still, Boebert is far enough ahead that the recount is unlikely to make a difference.
Adam Frisch just said that he’s called Lauren Boebert to concede the race in CO-03.
He said an automatic recount will likely happen under state law but encouraged supporters to save fundraising $$ for gas, groceries and other causes.
— Anna Lynn Winfrey (@annalynnfrey) November 18, 2022
Even though Boebert’s conservative constituency became even deeper red after redistricting, her margin of victory this year was significantly smaller than in 2020, when she beat her Democratic opponent by 6 percentage points. The narrowness of Boebert’s win this year suggests that voters might be tired of the congresswoman’s attention-seeking antics, from her anti-Muslim remarks to her heckling of President Joe Biden. As in 2020, Boebert lost her home county.
Unaffiliated voters in Boebert’s district interviewed by the Colorado Sun gave varying opinions on Boebert. One called her “kind of crazy” but resolved to vote for her anyway. Another gushed: “She’s done amazing.” One conservative, who said she would not be voting for Boebert, opined, “I just feel like she’s more focused on attention than getting stuff done.”
As I reported earlier this year, employees at Boebert’s Rifle, Colorado, restaurant were surprised at their boss’s political success. Several workers told me that Boebert regularly failed to pay them, and one claimed that she pointed a loaded gun at him.
“It blows my mind she was able to get elected,” one former employee told me. “I’m just disillusioned with the entire system.”
The restaurant, Shooters Grill, closed in July.
In addition to heckling Biden during the State of the Union and averring that she was “tired of this separation of church and state junk,” Boebert has come under fire for failing to disclose her husband’s income as a consultant for an energy firm—she sits on the Natural Resources Committee—and for allegedly using campaign funds to pay tax liens on her restaurant. After a deadlocked Federal Election Commission declined to investigate Boebert’s expenses, several state agencies took up the investigation. Last month, the Colorado attorney general’s office referred the complaint to the state Department of Revenue and Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Boebert called it “another swing and miss.”