Elected officials in La Plata County took action this week against recently elected Congresswoman Lauren Boebert after the U.S. Capitol riot Jan. 6.
Boebert, who represents 28 Western Slope and southern Colorado counties in the 3rd Congressional District, received pushback for her actions before and during the riot in which supporters of President Donald Trump breached the Capitol building. Five people died as a result of the riot.
Locally, elected officials signed and sent a letter to U.S. House of Representatives calling for an investigation into Boebert and disciplinary action. A public petition has been circulating in Durango demanding a formal rebuke in the U.S. House.
“I think we’re all concerned. We need to work with Rep. Boebert in the future, but ... is she supportive of the Constitution?” said La Plata County Commissioner Clyde Church who signed the letter. “It’s not all that clear from some of the comments she’s made in the past.”
Before the rioting began, Boebert was one of almost 150 Republicans who planned to vote against Congress’ official certification of Electoral College votes for the presidential election, which Joe Biden won.
During the riot, Boebert sent a message on Twitter that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was removed from the House chamber. The tweet prompted calls for her resignation from some who said she compromised Pelosi’s safety during the event.
Boebert also referred to the day as Republicans’ “1776 moment,” according to reporting by The New York Times.
Boebert released statements after the riot, denouncing all acts of violence, supporting peaceful protests and criticizing Democrats.
In the week since, more than 65 elected officials in the 3rd Congressional District signed the joint letter opposing Boebert’s actions.
The letter said Boebert was associated with right-wing groups that supported the insurrection at the Capitol, her actions did not represent her constituents in the 3rd Congressional District, and her speech and messages on Twitter encouraged the mob mentality of her followers.
Seven elected officials in La Plata County signed the letter: county commissioners Church and Gwen Lachelt; Ashleigh Tarkington and Josh Joswick on the Bayfield town board; Dean Brookie, Barbara Noseworthy and Chris Bettin on Durango City Council.
“I’m interested in supporting my fellow elected officials throughout the Western Slope, representing Congressional District 3,” said Durango Mayor Brookie. “However, my goal is not to create any more divisiveness within our community regarding this issue.”
Noseworthy said as a City Council member, she took an oath to defend the Constitution.
“What I saw on Jan. 6 was domestic terrorists mounting an intended insurrection,” Noseworthy said. “I believe her tweets and comments express solidarity with these insurrectionists, and I believe her behavior did not represent the 750,000 constituents of this district.”
A petition circulated by Indivisible Durango has called for Boebert to be censured. That would require Boebert to stand in front of the House of Representatives while House Speaker Pelosi reads a rebuke of specified misconduct.
During a City Council study session Tuesday, councilors briefly discussed Boebert, any joint council response and the petition, which has gained more than 500 signatures.
If the council does decide to respond jointly, it must maintain a nonpartisan stance as required by the Durango Code of Ethics.
The councilors requested more information about how other municipalities have responded and deferred further discussion to the City Council meeting Jan. 19.