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A five-term Republican congressman endorsed by President Donald Trump has conceded defeat in Colorado to a political novice and admirer of the QAnon conspiracy theory movement.
On Tuesday evening Lauren Boebert defeated Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado’s Third Congressional District. It is a seat he has held since 2011. Tipton had been strongly tipped to win re-election after Trump tweeted his support for the 63-year-old on Monday.
Boebert achieved her stunning victory by attacking Tipton’s lack of conservative credentials, and went after him for being too cozy with Democrats in the House. She aligned herself with Trump’s agenda, pointing out her opponent’s failure to stand up to left-wing members of the U.S. House, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Boebert beat Tipton decisively in Tuesday’s ballot, according to the Colorado secretary of state’s website, with almost 55% of the votes.
Following Boebert’s surprise victory, Trump immediately tweeted his support for the 33-year-old.
The mother-of-four called her victory “the honor of a lifetime” promising to “put far-left Democrats back in their place."
But it is her more controversial views that have attracted the most attention nationally.
In May, Boebert appeared on “Steel Truth,” an online radio show, saying she was “very familiar with” the QAnon movement.
“It is only motivating and encouraging and bringing people together, stronger, and if this is real, then it could be really great for our country,” Boebert said of the pro-Trump deep-state conspiracy theory.
But that’s not the only controversy surrounding Boebert.
Her restaurant, Shooters Grill in the town of Rifle, where wait staff proudly wear pistols on their hips, was shut down in May after it flouted COVID-19 lockdown restrictions by continuing to serve customers on-site, in defiance of state public health orders and against a court injunction.
She has repeatedly attacked Gov. Jared Polis for the lockdown measures he has imposed.
“Your policies are literally bankrupting small businesses like mine that are trying their very best to responsibly stay afloat,” Boebert wrote on her Facebook page. “This has to stop.”
Polis was one of more than a dozen governors who were forced this week to reimpose lockdown restrictions in a bid to curb a spike in coronavirus infections.
Boebert is the second QAnon follower set to take a Congressional seat this November, after Republican candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene, a professed believer in the fringe conspiracy theory, won her primary in Georgia earlier this month.
While Greene is almost certain to win her seat in November, Boebert could face a more difficult challenge to retain the seat for the GOP. The winner of the Democratic primary was Diane Mitsch Bush, a former State House member who lost narrowly to Tipton in 2018, and Democrats could see Greene’s victory as an opportunity to flip the seat.
Within minutes of Boebert’s victory Tuesday night, Democrats went on the attack.
"Washington Republicans should immediately disavow Lauren Boebert and her extremist, dangerous conspiracy theories,” Cheri Bustos, chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Tuesday evening.
But the GOP appears to be standing behind their new candidate.
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) dismissed Bustos’s claims, and both House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Colorado GOP Chairman Rep. Ken Buck called Boebert to congratulate her on her likely victory in November.
Cover: Lauren Boebert waits for returns during a watch party in Grand Junction, Colo., Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Boebert defeated five-term Rep. Scott Tipton in the Republican primary in the 3rd Congressional District. (McKenzie Lange/The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel via AP)
This article originally appeared on VICE US.