In Boebert's Primary Debate, 'Carpetbagger' Insinuations Fly

Opponents running for US House in Colorado's 4th District don't appreciate defection from 3rd District
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 26, 2024 11:58 AM CST
In Boebert's Primary Debate, 'Carpetbagger' Insinuations Fly
Colorado Rep. Richard Holtorf is seen Thursday in Fort Lupton, Colorado, before the first Republican primary debate for the 4th Congressional District seat being vacated by Ken Buck.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Republican primary candidate Mike Lynch didn't sugarcoat the question to his opponent on the crammed debate stage, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert, who hopped into the race last month partly over fear of a loss in the district she currently represents. "Could you give the definition of 'carpetbagger?'" Lynch asked at the first Republican primary debate in Colorado's 4th District. It was expected, per the AP: The accusation had already been lobbed at Boebert after she joined the packed primary race, escaping a rematch against Democrat Adam Frisch, who nearly beat her in the last election and had already raised more money than she had.

On the debate stage, Boebert didn't hesitate in response to the attack. "The crops may be different in Colorado's 4th District, but the values are not, and I'm a proven fighter for the values that you all believe in," said Boebert. Colorado's congressional representatives don't have to live in the district they represent, only the state. Boebert is moving to Weld County in her new district, jokingly described by the debate moderator as "the most heavily Republican seat on the planet Earth." Boebert's primary rivals largely seemed hesitant to directly attack her, which was reminiscent of the Republican presidential primary candidates who avoided criticism of Trump in early debates.

The debate also largely centered on national political issues, including border security, abortion, and fentanyl, on which Boebert could laud her stubbornly conservative voting record. Boebert was caught on video vaping and groping with a date in September, but the episode went unmentioned at the debate. Still, the scandal may be hard to shake in Boebert's new electoral stomping grounds, where voters hold tight to conservative Christian values some feel she transgressed. Boebert focused on her experience in Congress as the key factor separating her from the other candidates. "Everyone will talk like a Freedom Caucus member, but there is only one who governs as a Freedom Caucus member," she said. "I am here to earn your support, earn your vote. This is not a coronation."

(More Lauren Boebert stories.)

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