Rep. Doug Lamborn (R)
Elected: 2006, 2nd term.
Born: May 24, 1954, Leavenworth, KS .
Home: Colorado Springs.
Education: U. of KS, B.S. 1978, J.D. 1986.
Family: Married (Jeanie); 5 children.
Elected office: CO House of Reps., 1994-98; CO Senate, 1998-2006.
Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1987-2007.
The congressman from the 5th District is Doug Lamborn, a Republican elected in 2006. The son of a prison guard, Lamborn was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, and studied journalism at the University of Kansas. He said he voted in 1976 for Jimmy Carter, which he calls a mistake, but was then drawn to Republican politics by Ronald Reagan. Lamborn ran unsuccessfully in 1982 as the Republican candidate for a heavily Democratic seat in the Kansas Legislature, then went back to school for a law degree. In 1987, Lamborn moved his family to Colorado Springs, where he practiced business and real estate law and became an avid mountain climber. In 1994, he won the first of two terms in the Colorado House and in 1998, was appointed to a vacant state Senate seat. Lamborn ran unopposed in the next election and later served as state Senate president pro tem. During 12 years in the legislature, Lamborn compiled a reliably conservative record on social and fiscal issues. He opposed abortion rights, sponsoring bills to limit late-term abortions, and advocated tax cuts, including a reduction in state income taxes. He backed legislation that would have ended some benefits to illegal immigrants and increased penalties for illegal-immigrant smugglers.
|Doug Lamborn (R)||183,178||(60%)||($593,491)|
|Hal Bidlack (D)||113,025||(37%)||($240,798)|
|Brian Scott (CNP)||8,894||(3%)|
|Doug Lamborn (R)||24,995||(44%)|
|Jeff Crank (R)||16,794||(30%)|
|Bentley Rayburn (R)||14,986||(26%)|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (60%)
He ran for the House when Republican Rep. Joel Hefley retired. In the primary, Hefley endorsed Jeff Crank, his former aide. Lamborn had the backing of the anti-tax Club for Growth and the Colorado Christian Coalition. At the May GOP party convention, Crank won the delegate vote 46%-40%, but Lamborn had more than the minimum 30% needed to secure a place on the primary ballot. Lamborn emphasized his conservative voting record and vowed never to raise taxes. The state Christian Coalition sent a mailer suggesting Crank backed the “radical homosexual lobby.” In the August primary, Crank won five of the district’s six counties and appeared headed to victory. But once absentee ballots were counted, the results flipped and Lamborn won by 892 votes, defeating Crank 27%-25%.
In the general election, Lamborn faced Democrat Jay Fawcett, an Air Force Academy graduate who won a Bronze star during the Gulf War. In most years, the Democratic nominee would not have drawn a second look, because no Democrat had won the seat since it was created in 1972. But the bruising Republican primary and a tough national election environment for Republicans made for an unusually competitive general election. Hefley accused Lamborn of running a “sleazy” primary campaign and refused to endorse him. Fawcett sought to take advantage of the Republican discord, purchasing a newspaper ad featuring the names and photos of three dozen prominent local Republicans who also declined to endorse Lamborn. He tried to appeal to Republicans and unaffiliated voters by emphasizing his military experience, a strong selling point in a military-oriented district. In October, polls showed a dead heat, an alarming result for a district that national Republicans were unaccustomed to worrying about. But on Election Day, voters overcame lingering animosity toward Lamborn and gave him a 60%-40% victory. Asked after the election about Republican defectors, Lamborn said, “Those people represented some whiners and some of the most liberal Republicans.”
In the House, Lamborn established a solidly conservative voting record. He tried, but lost overwhelmingly, to pass amendments to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, two government-sponsored entities that conservatives consider far too liberal. He also sponsored a bill to prohibit federal funding from going to schools that provide access to emergency contraception services. In October 2007, he got a seat on the Armed Services Committee, a critical committee for his district.
Back home, lingering resentment over the 2006 primary led to a rematch with Crank in 2008. The challenger attacked Lamborn’s job performance. This time, Lamborn took all of the counties except Lake, and won the district overall with 44% to 30% for Crank. He won easily in November against token Democratic opposition.