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Owner of restaurant known for armed waitstaff wins Colorado primary race

Incumbent Congressman Scott Tipton has conceded the race to political newcomer Lauren Boebert.

DENVER — Tuesday ended with a surprise upset in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District on the Western Slope, where challenger Lauren Boebert won the Republican primary vote over incumbent Congressman Scott Tipton.

Boebert took more than 54% of the vote, as of 9 p.m.

"Third district Republicans have decided who they want to run against the Democrats this November. I want to congratulate Lauren Boebert and wish her and her supporters well," Tipton said in his concession statement.

Boebert, who has spoken favorably of the Qanon conspiracy theory, is best-known as the owner of Shooters Grill, a restaurant in Rifle where the waitstaff is armed.

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In an interview on Next with Kyle Clark late last year, Boebert said she intends to "annihilate socialism" and wanted to go to Washington, D.C. to challenge Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

"There is a battle for the heart and soul of our country right now, and I am ready to be the one that steps up for conservative values and takes on [Ocasio-Cortez]," Boebert said. "I don't believe there are many people who can take her on the way that I'll be able to."

Tipton has been in Congress for the last decade and has often aligned himself with President Donald Trump. In her campaign, Boebert promised to be more pro-Trump than Tipton and be more proactive in Congress.

"If I felt that we were being accurately represented, I wouldn't be here today," she said in the interview. "He went in with some promises to abolish Obamacare, fire Nancy Pelosi and lower our national debt, so I'll let his record speak for itself."

While Colorado went to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Trump won CO-3 in 2016.

The president congratulated Boebert on her win via Twitter on Tuesday night.

Boebert will face Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state representative who challenged Tipton in 2018, in the November general election. 

You can watch Boebert's full interview with Next here.

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