Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2008, 4th term.

Born: March 19, 1955, Fort Leonard Wood, MO

Home: Aurora, CO

Education: U. of CO, B.A., 1979.

Professional Career: Property management firm owner, 1983-2000.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Methodist

Family: Married (Cynthia)

The congressman from the 6th District is Mike Coffman, a conservative Republican first elected in 2008. He’s a former Colorado secretary of state who has pushed for institutional reform in Congress. As a hard-liner on illegal immigration, Coffman was only narrowly reelected in 2012 in a newly redrawn district that has greater numbers of Hispanics than before. He softened his stance to win reelection in 2014.

The son of an Army doctor, Coffman enlisted in the Army before he finished high school and completed his diploma in the military. He went to the University of Colorado on the G.I. Bill, and then officers’ school in the Marine Corps. After his active duty service ended, he started several Denver-area property management firms, which he sold in 2000. In 1988, Coffman was elected to the Colorado House. Two years later, he was called back to active duty with the Marines to serve in the first Gulf War. His colleagues draped his desk with a Marine Corps flag and yellow ribbons, and read his letters from the front lines on the House floor. After his service, Coffman returned to public life, first as a state senator and then as Colorado treasurer. But military duty called again in 2005. Coffman resigned as treasurer to go to Iraq on a six-month deployment, during which he assisted with elections in the Al Anbar Province and helped establish local governments in the Western Euphrates River Valley. When he got home, he was elected secretary of state, touting his experience with the Iraqi elections.

During his two-year tenure, Coffman drew criticism for taking several voting machines out of commission because of possible problems with them and not having replacement machines ready as the election approached. County clerks lobbied for an all-mail ballot voting system, but he strongly opposed it, instead supporting paper ballots at polling places. The August 2008 primary was plagued with errors, and many voters did not receive their absentee ballots.

In 2007, after five-term Republican Tom Tancredo left his House seat to wage a long-shot race for president, Coffman announced his candidacy. In the GOP primary, he first had to ward off a challenge from businessman WilArmstrong, the son of former Republican Sen. Bill Armstrong. Also running were state senators Ted Harvey and Steve Ward. The four were nearly uniformly conservative. All supported the Iraq war and, like Tancredo, were staunch opponents of giving citizenship to illegal immigrants. But Coffman had the highest name recognition, thanks to his statewide offices, and he also outraised his challengers. He won with 40% of the vote, with Armstrong coming in at 33%.

Amid his campaigning, Coffman had to balance his duty to carry out the election in a crucial swing state in the presidential race. He was criticized for the alleged purging of thousands of names from voter rolls shortly before the November election because they were suspected of being duplicate or erroneous registrations. He disputed the number of names purged and said their removal was valid. Still, the Advancement Project, a national voting-rights group, sued Coffman over the purged registrations, and a judge four days before the election ordered him to reinstate 146 voters. The controversy apparently had no effect on Coffman’s own campaign. In the general election, he cruised to victory against Democrat Hank Eng with 61% of the vote. Unlike in the primary, elections around the state proceeded relatively smoothly.

Once in Congress, Coffman opposed President Barack Obama’s initiatives, telling the conservative publication Human Events in 2009 that “they are taking us down the road to a European-style social welfare state.” Given his military background, Coffman was a natural to be appointed to the House Armed Services Committee. He was named to a bipartisan panel of the committee in 2009 that reviewed Pentagon acquisition practices, and got a bill through the House in March 2010 to extend re-employment protections for National Guard members.

During the 112th Congress (2011-12), Coffman pushed for several government reforms. In January 2011, he introduced a bill that would implement a 10-percent salary reduction for all House and Senate members. He also sought to end traditional pensions for members of Congress. He got an amendment attached to the 2012 defense authorization bill for a study of government college tuition aid for military personnel, telling the Army Times that his own tuition benefits covered only 75% of costs and 100% re-imbursement could be overly generous.

In 2010, Coffman cruised to reelection with 66% of the vote. But in 2012, after redistricting, the redrawn 6th was more competitive, and included additional Hispanic voters, which could have spelled trouble for him. As recently as August 2011, Coffman had introduced legislation to allow communities to use English-only campaign ballots.

His general election opponent was Democrat Joe Miklosi, a state representative in the Denver suburbs. To mobilize unaffiliated women voters, Miklosi highlighted his opponent’s anti-abortion rights views and accused him of seeking to dismantle Medicare. Coffman also was forced to apologize in May for telling supporters that “in his heart, (President Obama) is not an American.” But Coffman fought back hard, criticizing Miklosi for supporting tax hikes and running what independent fact-checkers called misleading ads. “It is a different ballgame,” Coffman acknowledged to The New York Times. “It is clearly a competitive district, and it is a big transition.” Though the national Democratic Party targeted Coffman, he still substantially outraised Miklosi, $3.4 million to $1.7 million. He squeaked out a victory, 48%-46%.

After the election, Coffman softened his stance on immigration, to the point of introducing a bill to allow noncitizens, such as foreign students in the U.S. on visas, to serve in the military. "Like it did for my father and me, the prospect of military service would give these young people something to aspire to," he wrote in an op-ed column. He sponsored a number of bills aimed at helping the military and veterans, including a 2013 bill that became law to pay military officials during a government shutdown. He got another bill into law that to expand job training for veterans.

But Coffman still was widely regarded as one the GOP's most vulnerable members in 2014. He drew a top-tier challenger in Andrew Romanoff, a former state House speaker who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010. Romanoff touted his bipartisan accomplishments as a state lawmaker while seeking to highlight the public's unhappiness with Congress and, by extension, with Coffman. “If we elect the same crowd to Congress, nothing is going to change and nothing is going to get done,” Romanoff said at one debate. Coffman stressed his foreign-policy credentials and depicted himself as a workhorse, winning another term.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-7882

(202) 226-4623

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2443
Washington, DC 20515-0606

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-7882

(202) 226-4623

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2443
Washington, DC 20515-0606

DISTRICT OFFICE

(720) 748-7514

(720) 748-7680

Cherry Creek Place IV Suite 305
Aurora, CO 80014-3528

DISTRICT OFFICE

(720) 748-7514

(720) 748-7680

Cherry Creek Place IV Suite 305
Aurora, CO 80014-3528

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(303) 791-6453

4950 South Yosemite Street Unit F2-511
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

4950 South Yosemite Street Unit F2-511
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Jeremy Lippert
Legislative Assistant

Aerospace

Steve Linton-Smith
Constituent Advocate; Health Counsel

Agriculture

Lauren Allen
Legislative Aide

Steve Linton-Smith
Constituent Advocate; Health Counsel

Appropriations

Jeremy Lippert
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Jeremy Lippert
Legislative Assistant

Mike Wakefield
Legislative Counsel

Govt Ops

Steve Linton-Smith
Constituent Advocate; Health Counsel

Health

Jeremy Lippert
Legislative Assistant

Lauren Allen
Legislative Aide

Homeland Security

Kathy Green
Constituent Advocate

Immigration

Jeremy Lippert
Legislative Assistant

Kathy Green
Constituent Advocate

Judiciary

Jeremy Lippert
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Steve Linton-Smith
Constituent Advocate; Health Counsel

Medicare

Steve Linton-Smith
Constituent Advocate; Health Counsel

Military

Sindi Connell
Defense Fellow

Social Security

Steve Linton-Smith
Constituent Advocate; Health Counsel

Tax

Jeremy Lippert
Legislative Assistant

Kathy Green
Constituent Advocate

Technology

Jeremy Lippert
Legislative Assistant

Lauren Allen
Legislative Aide

Telecommunications

Jeremy Lippert
Legislative Assistant

Lauren Allen
Legislative Aide

Transportation

Steve Linton-Smith
Constituent Advocate; Health Counsel

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Mike Coffman
Votes: 163,938
Percent: 47.81%
Joe Miklosi
Votes: 156,937
Percent: 45.77%
2012 PRIMARY
Mike Coffman
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Mike Coffman
Votes: 217,368
Percent: 65.68%
John Flerlage
Votes: 104,104
Percent: 31.46%
2010 PRIMARY
Mike Coffman
Votes: 81,067
Percent: 100.0%
2008 GENERAL
Mike Coffman
Votes: 250,877
Percent: 60.67%
Hank Eng
Votes: 162,639
Percent: 39.33%
2008 PRIMARY
Mike Coffman
Votes: 28,509
Percent: 40.12%
Wil Armstrong
Votes: 23,213
Percent: 32.67%
Ted Harvey
Votes: 10,886
Percent: 15.32%
Steve Ward
Votes: 8,452
Percent: 11.89%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (66%), 2008 (61%)

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