WASHINGTON — Two of Congress’ staunchest conservatives repelled more centrist alternatives to lock up Republican nominations on Tuesday, even as the party’s voters chose to turn out a six-term incumbent in Mississippi.
Illinois Republican Rep. Mary Miller won her primary over fellow incumbent Rep. Rodney Davis just days after she called the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade a “historic victory for white life” during a weekend rally with former President Donald Trump. Her spokesperson said she misspoke.
Another Trump ally, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, one of Congress’ most polarizing members, easily beat back a challenge from a more mainstream Republican.
Boebert, a first-term firebrand, saw her GOP-leaning 3rd Congressional District in western Colorado become even more Republican after redistricting. She had little trouble with moderate state Rep. Don Coram, a rancher and hemp farmer, who slammed what he calls Boebert’s extremism.
Boebert trumpeted her gun-toting Second Amendment credentials and opposition to COVID-19 restrictions that briefly shuttered her “Shooters” restaurant.
Long known for controversial statements, Boebert said Sunday, “I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk that’s not in the Constitution.”
The phrase doesn’t expressly appear in the Constitution, though the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Thomas Jefferson was president when he wrote in an 1802 letter that such phrasing should amount to a “wall of separation” between church and state.
Boebert referred to Jefferson’s writing as a “stinking letter.”
In Colorado’s deeply conservative El Paso County, meanwhile, eight-term Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn staved off a challenge from the right from state Rep. Dave Williams for his 5th Congressional District seat. Williams failed to get the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon,” code for an obscenity against President Joe Biden, added to his name on the ballot.
Lamborn faces an ongoing House ethics investigation over whether he misused official resources for personal purposes. He is an ardent opponent of abortion and backs the significant U.S. military presence in Colorado Springs.