‘I don’t know who my dad is’: Inside Lauren Boebert’s teary victory party

As the sunset disappeared over the Rockies on Tuesday evening, it had already become clear that Lauren Boebert had won.

At a venue called The Grainhouse located on “Hoedown Hill” in Windsor, Boebert watched results pour in — not in some back room like your usual politician but largely in front of the crowd, where she mingled with friends and supporters.

“Thank you... thank you for doing this,” one weepy younger supporter told the congresswoman, who went in for a hug.

Campaign officials were in a jubilant mood. Drew Sexton, her one-man-band campaign manager, ushered different groups of people to Boebert for photos as children played cornhole nearby. Some of the congresswoman’s allies were even ready to laugh off the eye-wateringly bad headlines from the past few months.

“The theater stuff was bad,” one campaign official acknowledged, about Boebert being recently kicked out of a movie theater for vaping and engaging in lewd acts with her date. “But you saw that afterwards, she showed voters she was contrite. She knew she had messed up.”

Lauren Boebert poses in her Trump sneakers after winning the congressional primary in her new district on 25 June 2024 (John Bowden)
Lauren Boebert poses in her Trump sneakers after winning the congressional primary in her new district on 25 June 2024 (John Bowden)

The Grainhouse is an old grain silo converted into a bar with a spacious outdoor area, and it made for a picturesque background for the campaign. Supporters mingled among old tractors inside a giant tin dome, with cheers breaking out every few minutes as various races were called.

Boebert herself led a cheer as Greg Lopez won the special election in CD-04 — she congratulated him over the phone in front of a crowd as she took a break from posing for photos with supporters.

After it was clear from the numbers that she’d won, Boebert would mingle with guests for nearly an hour before departing. That’s something one rarely sees at these kinds of events, where candidates are typically whisked away by aides after a short comment to reporters or maybe a small gaggle.

The congresswoman did gaggle with reporters, but it wasn’t in the traditional way: instead, she encouraged them to take pictures with her as she posed in a pair of solid gold-painted Trump sneakers, which she showed off with pageant-queen energy. (She would later admit, in a characteristically Boebert way, that they were not official Trump campaign merchandise but instead counterfeits made in China.)

Lauren Boebert prepares for a gaggle with reporters on election night, June 25 2024 (John Bowden)
Lauren Boebert prepares for a gaggle with reporters on election night, June 25 2024 (John Bowden)

“Just because I don’t know who my dad is,” she quipped at one point, doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about family. That’s the kind of comparison few members of Congress would ever make out loud.

“She’s got ‘it’,” one Boebert campaign staffer said. “I mean, you see it every time she gets up and talks to people. No one is telling her to say this. She’s speaking from the heart.”

That much was clear as Boebert worked the crowd with energy and ease. And some made it clear they wanted her to take her victory even further.

One older man wearing a white Trump hat came up to Boebert’s campaign manager and made him an offer he likely could refuse: the chance to run a Senate campaign in 2026. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, is up for re-election in the upper chamber that year. The man in the Trump hat thought it was time to bring a MAGA-style challenge to him.

The man indicated after that he wanted Boebert herself to run — though he seemed to joke that he would run himself if she didn’t. Hickenlooper, he said, “shouldn’t be in [the Senate].”

Boebert’s campaign manager, Sexton, quipped that he was just trying to “get through the next day” in response, but added that he’d take the man’s suggestion to Boebert.

Supporters at the party unanimously told The Independent that they were glad Boebert had moved districts to the safer-Republican fourth. Many expressed the belief that she would “fight” for conservative values in Congress. Others at the party made it clear that Boebert’s presence in the often-forgotten eastern plains of Colorado had helped her appear serious and engaged to her new constituents.

A large contingent of younger Republicans — especially women — were present along with the typical politician’s older-skewing crowd. Boebert has seemingly won over a number of young Republican women who see themselves (or someone they know and admire) in the congresswoman.

While several rivals had talked a big game heading into Election Day, it was clear that those words had been little more than projections of false confidence. That included Deborah Flora, who wrongly told The Independent that the race had become “a two-woman contest” just minutes before polls closed in her district (she actually came in third, trailing one of the other would-be rivals, Jerry Sonnenberg.)

 (John Bowden)
(John Bowden)

Meanwhile, Boebert was all smiles right up to the end — and has reason to be smiling still today.