May 29, 2024 - Politics

Lauren Boebert looks to move beyond her firebrand image to win in new district

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Windsor) at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in March. Photo: Al Drago/B

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Windsor) at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., in March. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert spent the first televised debate in her new congressional district trying to convince voters she's more than her firebrand persona.

What she's saying: "I have a proven track record and proven voting records — one that I am proud of," she said in Wednesday night's CBS Colorado debate for the 4th District Republican primary.

Why it matters: Boebert's chances to win may depend on her ability to redefine her image after moving from the 3rd District on the Western Slope to the majority suburban 4th District, which covers part of the Denver metro area.

The big picture: The congresswoman faces five rivals — including three current or former state lawmakers with long tenures in the district — but holds court as the leading fundraiser and best-known candidate.

From the start of the debate, Boebert faced criticism for her style. Rival Deborah Flora, a conservative radio show host, blasted Boebert for "abandoning her neighbors in CD3, missing key votes while chasing the cameras and being in the center of D.C. drama "instead of delivering real solutions for the people."

  • Later in the debate, Boebert faced a question about her "provocative, grandstanding style" and whether she will be vulnerable as the GOP nominee.

The other side: Boebert touted passing more legislation out of the Republican-led House than her other Colorado colleagues and blamed her narrow win in 2022 on GOP voters staying home.

  • On the issues, she acknowledged the need to consider cuts to military spending and raise the retirement age for Social Security for future recipients, two major issues Republicans are reluctant to tackle.

Yes, but: Boebert acknowledged she "governs as I campaign" — an indication she's not entirely willing to change her ways.

Between the lines: The 4th District is strongly Republican and the winner of the GOP primary is expected to take the seat left open by the retirement of U.S. Rep. Ken Buck.

What's next: The candidates will meet once again Thursday evening in a debate hosted by 9News.

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