Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District covers the Western Slope to Wyoming and across the southern part of the state to Pueblo. It is a district that has favored the individual over the party, although Republican Scott Tipton of Cortez has held the seat since 2010. He would like a sixth term.
Opposing Tipton in the primary – it is unusual for an incumbent to be challenged in a primary – is Lauren Boebert of Rifle, who has a restaurant and wears a pistol on her hip. Boebert sees an opening to the right of Tipton, faulting him for too frequently turning to the federal government.
Boebert praises the opportunities that are possible in this country and advocates for school choice. She would promote nuclear energy along with wind and solar, and is comfortable with mail-in balloting for primaries but not for general elections. The government is too involved with insurance companies to reduce the cost of health insurance premiums, and she would open up the market to more competition for personal and portable coverage. Boebert says she is “a proud conservative, self-made,” and that “dependency on the federal government does not work.”
Tipton in his time in Congress has advocated for healthy, fire-resistant forests and led a successful effort to make small hydropower plants possible. He has stood up for those using federal lands, particularly ski areas and ranchers grazing in the mountains, in preventing the federal government from demanding their water rights.
He identifies himself as “all of the above” when it comes to energy sources. Recently, he has joined successful Congressional efforts to expand the application and extend the payback of the Paycheck Protection Program. His Congressional caucuses include small business and Western issues.
In the primary contest, it ought to be Scott Tipton who moves to the November election. The Herald’s editorial board believes Boebert’s strong ideological principles will be too limiting in Congress, making bipartisanship difficult and preventing the district and state from benefiting from federal initiatives that might be the only way to address issues in this ever more complex world.