Dec 27, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Lauren Boebert abandons her House district for 2024 election

Rep. Lauren Boebert. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) on Wednesday night announced plans to seek election in a solidly Republican House seat across the state from her current Western Colorado district.

Why it matters: The move is an acknowledgment of the difficult re-election prospects the right-wing firebrand faced in her current seat, where she won by roughly 500 votes last year.

Boebert made the announcement in a video posted to Facebook, saying it’s the “right move for me personally, and it's the right decision for those who support our conservative movement.”

  • Rather than running in her native 3rd district, which voted for Trump by about 6 percentage points in 2020, Boebert said she will run in the 4th district, a Trump+16 seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.).
  • In a nod to the record-shattering fundraising of 3rd district Democrat Adam Frisch, Boebert said she wants to “[stay] in the fight,” but that “Hollywood elites and progressive money groups” are trying to “buy” her district.
  • “I will not allow dark money that is directed at destroying me personally to steal this seat. It’s not fair to the 3rd district and the conservatives there,” she said.

Between the lines: Boebert’s right-wing politics and bombastic personal style have damaged her politically back home.

  • As a freshman in 2021, she made headlines for declaring her intentions to open carry a firearm on the House floor.
  • She has also emerged as a visible member of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus and was one of 20 conservative hardliners who rebelled against Kevin McCarthy during the speaker election in January.

Zoom in: Boebert’s brand took a hit this year when she was kicked out of a showing of "Beetlejuice" after security footage showed her and her date behaving inappropriately.

  • Boebert also filed for divorce from her husband in May.
  • “Personally, this announcement is a fresh start following a pretty difficult year and my family,” she said. “I have made my own personal mistakes and I have owned up and apologized for them.”

What we’re watching: Boebert’s announcement will likely make it easier for Republicans to hold the 3rd district, but her personal political prospects remain murky.

  • A large field of credible Republicans has materialized to try to replace Buck in the 4th district.
  • Boebert can legally run in the 4th district as a Colorado resident, despite not living there, but her carpetbagger status is likely to be a major issue: former Rep. Mondaire Jones lost badly after a similar move last year.
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