Scott Tipton

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Scott Tipton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2021
Preceded byJohn Salazar
Succeeded byLauren Boebert
Member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from the 59th district
In office
January 9, 2009 – January 2, 2011
Preceded byRay Rose
Succeeded byDon Coram
Personal details
Scott Randall Tipton

(1956-11-09) November 9, 1956 (age 67)
Española, New Mexico, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseJean Tipton
EducationFort Lewis College (BA)

Scott Randall Tipton[1] (born November 9, 1956) is an American politician who served as the U.S. representative for Colorado's 3rd congressional district from 2011 to 2021. A Republican, he was previously a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from 2009 to 2011. Tipton was first elected to the House in November 2010 when he defeated three-term Democratic incumbent John Salazar, and he was re-elected four times. In 2020, he lost renomination to Republican primary challenger Lauren Boebert in what was considered a major upset.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Tipton was born in Española, New Mexico and raised in Cortez, Colorado. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Fort Lewis College, the first in his family to graduate from college.[3]


After college, Tipton co-founded a pottery company called Mesa Verde Indian Pottery with his brother, based in Cortez, Colorado.[4] The Tiptons sold the company to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in 2014.[5]

A lifelong Republican, he became involved in the unsuccessful Reagan presidential campaign of 1976 and was a delegate to the Republican Convention that year. He also assisted with local campaigns for Reagan in 1980 and 1984 across Montezuma County, Colorado and the 3rd Congressional district and was Republican chairman of the 3rd Congressional district for eight years.[6] He was a board member of Mesa Verde National Park, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, and the advisory board of Pueblo Community College.[7]

In 2011, it was reported that he spent over $7,000 on vendors that did business with his nephew's company.[8] In 2012, he violated House rules when his office used taxpayer resources to promote a campaign event.[9]

A super PAC, funded by oil and gas driller SG Interests, is registered at the address of Tipton's campaign attorney and run by a law clerk in his office. Tipton's attorney said: "I have specifically put up Chinese walls to make sure Charlie (law clerk) is in no way involved with the Tipton campaign, and I'm in no way involved with the Colorado Future Fund."[10]

Colorado House of Representatives[edit]

2008 election[edit]

On February 5, 2008, he announced his candidacy for the Colorado House seat representing District 58. The announcement came shortly after the incumbent, Ray Rose, announced he would retire in 2008. He had no opposition in the Republican primary,[11] but faced Democratic candidate Noelle Hagan in the November 2008 general election. Hagan's candidacy was endorsed by the Denver Post[12] and the Montrose Daily Press.[13] Tipton won the election with 59 percent of the vote.[14]


With Representatives Laura Bradford and Frank McNulty, Tipton planned on re-introducing a version of Jessica's Law to establish minimum sentences for child sex offenders,[15] sponsoring bills to create a full-time judge position in Montrose[16][17] and to simplify water rights filing.[18] The attempt to introduce a version of Jessica's Law was unsuccessful, it died in committee.[19]

Committee assignments[edit]

For the 2009 legislative session, Tipton was named to seats on the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources Committee and the House Local Government Committee.[20]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Tipton's 112th Congress session photo



He unsuccessfully challenged the first term Democratic U.S. congressman, John Salazar. Tipton lost 38% to 62% to Salazar.[21]


In the Republican primary, he defeated Bob McConnell 56% to 44%.[22] He again challenged Salazar in Colorado's 3rd congressional district. Libertarian Gregory Gilman and independent Jake Segrest were also on the ballot, with independents John W. Hargis, Sr. and James Fritz qualified as write-in candidates. He decided to retire from the Colorado House of Representatives to run for Congress in 2010, again challenging Salazar.[23] In the general election, he defeated Salazar 50.1% to 45.8%.[24]


In 2012, he was challenged by Sal Pace, a Democratic state representative from Pueblo. His re-election campaign was aided by $1.3 million in advertising against Pace, funded by the Grover Norquist led, Americans for Tax Reform.[25] SG Interests, an oil and gas company from Texas, that sought to drill in the Thompson Divide area, also campaigned against Pace.[26] On election night, Tipton defeated Pace and two third party challengers with 53.3% of the vote.[27]


In 2014, he was challenged by Democrat Abel Tapia, Libertarian Travis Mero and UNA candidate Tisha Casida. He won with 56.1% of the vote.[28]


In 2016, Tipton defeated Democratic state senator Gail Schwartz and Libertarian Gaylon Kent, receiving 54.6% of the vote.[29]


In 2018, Tipton held off Democratic former state representative Diane Mitsch Bush, Independent Mary Malarsie, and Libertarian Gaylon Kent in his closest challenge since he was first elected to Congress, receiving 51.2% of the vote.[30]


In what was considered by many media outlets to be a shocking upset, Tipton was defeated in the Republican primary by restaurant owner and gun rights activist Lauren Boebert. He received 45.2% of the vote to Boebert's 54.6%.[31][32][33][34] Dick Wadhams, a Republican political consultant from Denver, says that Tipton had several hundred thousand dollars in the bank for his primary against Boebert, but he chose not to use it for TV/radio ads, mailings, or social media, ceding the debate to Boebert, who inspired a much higher Republican turnout than in 2018.[35] Boebert went on to win in a general election.


Tipton voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[36] According to Tipton, the bill fixes a "broken tax code" and "puts the needs of the American people before special interests."[37] Tipton touts that the act "supports families, graduate students, homeowners, and small businesses," and is "a victory for Coloradans and all Americans."[38]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus Memberships

Political positions[edit]


Tipton opposes abortion.[41][42]

Donald Trump[edit]

Tipton expressed support for then-candidate Donald Trump in March 2016.[43] After the Donald Trump Access Hollywood tape was released, in which Trump and Billy Bush had a lewd exchange about women, Tipton re-affirmed his support.[44]

On December 18, 2019, Tipton voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump.

Economic issues[edit]

Tipton has said, "we have a problem with reckless spending across the board at the federal level."[42] He has signed Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge,[45] and a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[46] He has also supported the Ryan Plan, having twice voted for it.[47]

In February 2017, he voted against a resolution that would have directed the House to request 10 years of Trump's tax returns, which would then have been reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee in a closed session.[48]


Tipton rejects the scientific consensus on climate change.[49] He argues that climate change is driven by natural climate cycles.[49] He opposes the Paris Agreement, the international agreement which mitigates greenhouse gas emissions.[42]

He opposes federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.[41] He has an 8% score by the League of Conservation Voters.[50]

In 2010, while serving in the state legislature, Tipton voted against legislation to compel Xcel Energy to convert three coal power plants to natural gas power plants. He also voted against legislation to require electricity utilities to use more renewable energy.[51]

In 2016, Tipton wrote a draft bill on oil and gas drilling in the Thompson Divide that contained large sections taken "word for word" from a proposal offered by a SG Interests, a Texas-based energy company and its lobbying firm. Tipton's draft legislation (which he described as a "starting point") was criticized because of Tipton's receipt of $39,000 in campaign contributions from SG Interests over the course of his career.[52]

In January 2017, Tipton voted in favor of legislation that would make it easier to sell federal public lands. Tipton was criticized by conservation groups for his vote.[53]

Water rights[edit]

Tipton introduced the Water Rights Protection Act into the House on September 26, 2013. The bill would prevent federal agencies from requiring certain entities to relinquish their water rights to the United States in order to use public lands.[54] Tipton said the bill was needed because it "provides critical protection for water rights' holders from federal takings by ensuring that federal government agencies cannot extort private property rights through uneven-handed negotiations."[55] Tipton argued that the bill "prohibits federal agencies from pilfering water rights through the use of permits, leases, and other land management arrangements, for which it would otherwise have to pay just compensation under the 5th Amendment of the Constitution."[55]

Foreign policy[edit]

He has criticized the Obama administration for inaction in the Middle East: "President Obama and Secretary Clinton's inaction in the Middle East has emboldened Syria, Iran and Russia and led to the death and displacement of millions of Syrian civilians."[42]


He is in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act.[41] On May 4, 2017, he voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and pass the American Health Care Act.[56][57]

LGBT rights[edit]

He opposes same-sex marriage.[41][58][unreliable source?]

Immigration and refugees[edit]

Tipton has said, "I strongly oppose amnesty or any special benefits for illegal immigrants".[59] He criticized President Obama for his executive order allowing up to five million illegal immigrants "to come out of the shadows" and work openly in the country.[59]

Tipton takes a "hardline stance" on the refugees of the Syrian Civil War and opposes the admission of Syrian refugees to the United States.[60] He has clashed with Governor John Hickenlooper about the resettlement of refugee families in Colorado.[60]

Personal life[edit]

Tipton and his wife, Jean, have two daughters and three grandchildren.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Form 6 for Friends of Scott Tipton".
  2. ^ Panetta, Grace. "GOP Congressman Scott Tipton was defeated by right-wing primary challenger Lauren Boebert in Colorado's 3rd congressional district". Business Insider. Archived from the original on July 16, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "About Me". Congressman Scott Tipton. December 3, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  4. ^ Hildner, Matt (October 19, 2010). "Tipton's pottery shop built brick by brick". The Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  5. ^ Mimiaga, Jim (November 24, 2014). "Mesa Verde Pottery is sold". The Journal. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  6. ^ "Congressman Scott Tipton Official Biography" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Scott Tipton". The Denver Post. October 28, 2006. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  8. ^ "Colo. Rep. Tipton Facing Second Ethics Issue". June 9, 2011. Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  9. ^ Allison Sherry (March 2, 2012). "Rep. Tipton violates House rules in promoting campaign event". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  10. ^ "Driller starts super PAC to support Tipton". Durango Herald. October 29, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  11. ^ "Colorado Statewide Cumulative Report - 2008 Primary Election". Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved November 8, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Editorial Board (October 17, 2008). "Post's picks in Colorado's House of Representatives". Denver Post. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
  13. ^ Norris, Wendy; Bob Spencer (November 3, 2008). "State candidate endorsement watch". Colorado Independent. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
  14. ^ "Colorado Statewide Cumulative Report - 2008 General Election". Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved December 4, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Anderson, Emily (November 24, 2008). "Jessica's Law bill gets state sponsors". Grand Junction Free Press. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  16. ^ Hanel, Joe (December 24, 2008). "Rep. Tipton's issues include roads, sexual assault, education". Cortez Journal. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
  17. ^ Mason, K.C. (January 7, 2009). "Budget Woes Will Handcuff Colorado Legislature". Telluride Watch. Retrieved January 10, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Capps, Reilly (January 12, 2009). "Ahern may give it another go". Telluride Daily Planet. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  19. ^ Capps, Reilly (February 26, 2009). "Political accusations fly after Colorado's "Jessica's Law" dies". Telluride The Denver Post. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  20. ^ "House Republican Committee Assignments Announced" (Press release). Colorado House Democrats. November 18, 2008. Archived from the original on December 31, 2014. Retrieved July 16, 2022.
  21. ^ Harmon, Gary (August 3, 2010). "Salazar-Tipton rematch a different contest". Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  22. ^ Lawrence, Mike (August 10, 2010). "Steamboat's McConnell defeated in District 3, Scott Tipton wins GOP congressional primary, goes on to face Rep. John Salazar". Steamboat Pilot. Retrieved October 28, 2010. With 70 percent of precincts reporting results Tuesday night, Tipton, a state representative from Cortez, had received 56 percent of votes across the 3rd Congressional District, compared with about 44 percent for McConnell.
  23. ^ Greg Giroux (November 9, 2009). "Tipton Joins Race Against Salazar". Roll Call. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
  24. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election" (PDF). Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  25. ^ "ATR Announces 1.3 Million Dollar Ad Buy in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District". October 12, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  26. ^ "Driller starts super PAC to support Tipton". October 29, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  27. ^ "Official Certified Results - 2012 General Election". Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  28. ^ "Colorado Secretary of State". Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  29. ^ "Official Certified Results - 2016 General Election". Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  30. ^ "2018 General Election Results". Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  31. ^ "June 30, 2020 Primary Election - Unofficial Results". Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  32. ^ LeBlanc, Paul (July 2020). "Trump-backed five-term Republican lawmaker loses primary to challenger who praised QAnon conspiracy". CNN. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  33. ^ Bowman, Bridget. Lauren Boebert ran against AOC and the ‘squad,’ and beat Rep. Scott Tipton in the process, Roll Call, July 1, 2020.
  34. ^ Panetta, Grace. "GOP Congressman Scott Tipton was defeated by right-wing primary challenger Lauren Boebert in Colorado's 3rd congressional district". Business Insider. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  35. ^ Wadhams, Dick. Wadhams: Boebert’s ouster of incumbent Tipton no small feat,, July 12, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
  36. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  37. ^ Northrop, Samuel. "Colorado Republicans tout tax plan headed to president's desk". Durango Herald. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  38. ^ Matthews, Mark (December 20, 2017). "How Colorado lawmakers voted on the federal tax overhaul — and why". The Denver Post. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  39. ^ "Member List". Republican Study Committee. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  40. ^ "Members". Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  41. ^ a b c d "The Voter's Self Defense System". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  42. ^ a b c d Sakas, Michael. "Colorado Congressional District 3 Race: Tipton, Schwartz And Kent On The Issues". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  43. ^ TEGNA. "Would Colorado GOP officials back Trump?". KUSA. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  44. ^ "Scott Tipton, J. Paul Brown stick with Donald Trump". Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  45. ^ "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List" (PDF). Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  46. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 14, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  47. ^ Peter Roper (April 9, 2011). "Tipton defends GOP approach". Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
  48. ^ "These are all the Republicans who don't want you to see Donald Trump's tax returns". indy100. February 28, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  49. ^ a b ThinkProgress (August 23, 2012). "GOP Rep Tipton Won't Acknowledge Human-Caused Climate Change Because It Would 'Divide America'". ThinkProgress. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  50. ^ "Check out Representative Scott Tipton's Environmental Voting Record". League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  51. ^ Mark K. Matthews, Lost coal jobs fuel debate in Gail Schwartz-Scott Tipton race on Western Slope, Denver Post (September 12, 2016).
  52. ^ Mark K. Matthews, Tipton proposal, largely written by oil and gas company, draws criticism, Denver Post (April 29, 2016).
  53. ^ "Rep. Scott Tipton vote spurs ire from public land supporters". Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  54. ^ "H.R. 3189 - CBO". Congressional Budget Office. December 9, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  55. ^ a b Hudson, Audrey (October 11, 2013). "Tipton Bill Seeks to Stop Feds from Trampling Water Rights". The Colorado Observer. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  56. ^ "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  57. ^ "Health care vote puts pressure on dozens of vulnerable GOP reps". USA TODAY. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  58. ^ "List of 213 Republican members of the House who voted to allow federal contractors to discriminate against LGBT workers | What The Folly?!". Archived from the original on February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  59. ^ a b "Schwartz decries Tipton immigration stance, linking 'extreme' views to Trump - Rocky Mountain Post". Rocky Mountain Post. October 28, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  60. ^ a b Mark Matthews, Scott Tipton takes hardline stance on Syria, raises profile, Denver Post (November 18, 2015).

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative