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How Lauren Boebert rose from an unknown to a candidate in Trump's orbit

Boebert and staff decline to answer questions about holes and discrepancies in her biography
Lauren Boebert, the Republican candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, addresses a crowd of about 100 people on Aug. 1, 2020, at the Orvis Ranch. Boebert spoke for about 15 minutes at the meet-and-greet, saying she will work to protect citizens' freedoms.

Lauren Boebert blasted into Colorado politics at an Aurora rally with an in-your-face microphone moment and a gun.

She emerged from the crowd at a rally for then presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke of Texas and grabbed the mic to shout, “Hell no, you’re not!” in response to O’Rourke’s pledge to take away assault-style weapons.

That shout from an armed, brash, 5-foot-tall woman in sparkly high heels, tight jeans and a holstered Glock would catch the attention of conservative Republicans and electrify the far-right. It would help launch a newbie political candidate with enough momentum to take down a five-term congressman – something that hadn’t happened in a Colorado primary in 48 years.

But behind Boebert’s meteoric rise — before she became known for owning Shooters Grill, before she went viral, before she entered President Donald Trump’s orbit — is a past neither she nor her campaign is willing to discuss. It’s a history that includes run-ins with the law, an eviction and a failed restaurant venture.

Boebert came on like a western Colorado version of Sarah Palin with her folksy talk about being a mom and her fealty to God and guns. The 33-year-old already knew how to handle a spotlight after opening Shooters Grill, a much-hyped restaurant in Rifle where the staff pack heat.

To move on from gun schtick to politics, Boebert had ditched her dyed-blonde and flannel-shirt persona and adopted Palin-style glasses and long, dark hair. Like Palin, she honed a steady stream of crowd-pleasing, quick-draw insults aimed at anyone who didn’t share her ultraconservative views. Those who did ate it up.

“We’ve never seen a candidate like Lauren – ever,” enthused Edward Wilks, a Rifle gun shop owner, former cop and member of the far-right, anti-government Oath Keepers group. Wilks is so high on Boebert that he is predicting she has what it takes for a shooting-star rise in politics – one that could propel her to the vice-presidency in four years and the presidency in eight.

“She would have the backing of all of America if she chose to do it,” Wilks said.

Shaping herself as a disruptor

Boebert climbed to that level of right-wing adulation with a carefully curated story of being a welfare child, an ardent Christian and a successful businesswoman; a petite woman who wears a gun for protection, not as a prop; and a fierce patriot who views herself, like her presidential idol, as a disruptor first and foremost.

Third Congressional District Candidate Lauren Boebert, center, poses with two other armed women in 2019. <br><br>Shooters Grill Facebook page

Colorado Sun writers Sandra Fish and Sue McMillin contributed reporting, as did staff writer Jesse Paul.

Read the complete story at The Colorado Sun

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