Colorado voters assess Lauren Boebert after “Beetlejuice” controversy

PUEBLO — U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert’s removal from the audience at a performance of “Beetlejuice” at Denver’s Buell Theatre last week for inappropriate behavior caught the attention of voters in her district.

But whether the incident will be a deciding factor at the ballot box a little more than 13 months from now is uncertain. Several voters in a small pocket of Boebert’s sprawling, largely rural 3rd Congressional District told The Denver Post this week that the events earlier this month in Denver are just part of a larger mix in how they view the Republican congresswoman.

“What happened in her personal life is unfortunate, but at the end of the day, it has no bearing on her legislating,” said Christy Ruckus, a Pueblo Republican who is all in on Boebert in 2024. “I’m not concerned — peoples’ memories are short.”

Boebert was escorted out of the Buell Theatre on Sept. 10 after patrons around her at the “Beetlejuice” musical complained she was vaping, recording the show on her phone and otherwise being disruptive. Boebert initially denied vaping but surveillance video from inside the venue, released in the following days, showed she hadn’t been truthful about that.

The video also showed groping between her and a male companion at the theater. Boebert issued an apology late last week, saying she was “truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community.โ€

โ€œWe know we will have to work to earn your trust back and it may not happen overnight, but we will do it,โ€ Boebert wrote.

Thomas Moore Jr., a lifelong resident of Pueblo who voted for Boebert in 2020 and 2022 and was picking up collector plates for his Mercedez-Benz at the county building on Thursday, said anyone can make a mistake. But he said his frustration with the congresswoman has been building.

“I think it has gotten to her head — that she is worthy of our vote because of the things she says rather than the things she does,” Moore Jr. said.

But he said whoever her opponent is next year would have to be extraordinary for him to cast a vote for a Democrat. Boebert faces competition from her own party in next year’s primary contest that she must defeat before even getting to the general election on Nov. 5, 2024.

She barely won re-election last year against Democrat and former Aspen City Councilman Adam Frisch. The race was so close it triggered an automatic recount.

For voters who haven’t been with Boebert from the beginning, the congresswoman’s antics at the Buell make little difference in how they see her.

“I am not a fan at all,” said Mary Aguilar, a registered Democrat in Pueblo who was also taking care of a license plate matter at the county building. “She is way hard right for me.”

Same goes for Laurie McIlvaine, who owns a liquor store an hour down the road from Pueblo in the tiny town of La Veta. McIlvaine, a hunter who has lived in this community at the base of the Spanish Peaks for 32 years, said she “has a lot of understanding of the conservative base.”

“But I just can’t get with her,” she said.

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