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Lauren Boebert defeats Don Coram in 3rd Congressional District primary

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Colorado's high-profile conservative U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert maintained her hold among Western Slope Republicans and fended off a challenge within her party from state Sen. Don Coram, unofficial results show.

As of 9:33 p.m. on Tuesday, unofficial results showed Boebert, of Silt, with 64.52% of the vote to Coram's 35.48%. The Associated Press affirmed at 7:37 p.m. that Boebert had won the race.

Not only did Boebert raise more money for her campaign but she spent more and enjoyed the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. Despite any controversies surrounding the congresswoman — and there were many — she maintained a strong hold on her district.

Coram entered the race relatively late and as a long shot. He couldn't compete with Boebert's reach on social media and his grassroots campaign strategy apparently failed to materialize.

Boebert leaned heavily into her conservative credentials during the relatively low-key campaign. All the while, Coram attacked her for failing to pass a single piece of legislation in Congress and said he would more readily work with Democrats.

The incumbent congresswoman also successfully fended off attempts to smear her campaign with anonymously sourced rumors from the same group that helped defeat first-term U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a like-minded, far-right Republican from North Carolina.

But the political action committee publishing those rumors, American Muckrakers, shows no signs of slowing as Boebert looks to enter the general election. If the results hold, she'll square off against Democratic candidate Adam Frisch, who appears to have defeated Sol Sandoval and Alex Walker, early results show.

Each of the Democratic candidates touted their ability to unite the sprawling district, which covers Colorado's Western Slope, much of the southern border and on up to Pueblo. Each lambasted Boebert over her incendiary — and sometimes racist — comments in person and on social media.

Frisch, a former Aspen City Council member, held 43.76% of the vote, early results show. Sol Sandoval, a community activist from Pueblo, held 40.3% of the vote and Alex Walker, an engineer living in Eagle, took home 15.94% of the vote.

During an online forum earlier this month, Frisch especially took aim at Boebert's unwillingness to work with Democrats during her first term and called her a leader in the "anger entertainment industry."

Boebert, who owns a gun-themed restaurant in Rifle called Shooters Bar and Grill, has made firearms a mainstay of her platform, regularly pushing back against any new regulations. Instead, she said after the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 students and two teachers dead, that more guns would make schools a safer place.

Frisch said this month he supports responsible gun ownership but also red flag laws and background checks.

Looking toward the November general election, Justin Gollob, a political science professor at Colorado Mesa University, said he'll keep an eye on money from the national parties to determine how well Frisch might fare.

"If the Democrats spend big, that will tell us something," Gollob said. "If they hold back, that will also tell us something."

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