Running for a third term, Colorado Springs U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn has a well-oiled campaign machine, with hundreds of volunteers and a $270,000 budget. In February Lamborn was ranked by the political magazine National Journal as the most conservative congressman, a strong resume builder in the conservative-leaning 5th Congressional District.
Lamborn’s opponents are Democrat Kevin Bradley, American Constitution Party’s Brian Scott and Libertarian Jerell Klaver. Together, they have almost no campaign funds, no public-office experience and few campaign volunteers.
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Lamborn isn’t resting on his laurels, although he admits he’s spending a good chunk of his time campaigning for other conservative Colorado politicians and working in Washington, D.C.
“I don’t want to be complacent,” Lamborn said. “I take any opponent seriously.”
Lamborn will increase his presence in the district in coming weeks, he said, and hasn’t ruled out a public debate with his opponents.
Those running against Lamborn say the congressman is out of touch with his district.
Bradley, who lives in Florence, said he’s been traveling the district to get familiar with the issues people care about on a shoe-string budget of a few thousand dollars.
“I would like to return government to the people,” he said.
Scott said he’s barely running a campaign, spending pocket change and about an hour a week on it. The Colorado Springs resident is running because he wants to offer conservative voters a better choice than Lamborn.
“He serves the GOP, and that is no more a conservative party,” Scott said.
Klaver plans to launch a bus bench and radio ad campaign, and may buy some TV spots if funds allow. The Manitou Springs businessman has raised nearly $10,000.
Klaver characterized Lamborn as a “career politician” out of touch with his district.
As a businessman, “I get the struggles we’re going through every day,” Klaver said.
Lamborn countered that he talks to district voters regularly in person and by phone. “I am very close to the community,” he said.
He also pointed to his conservative voting record and to his opponents’ lack of a voting record.
“Voting records are critical,” Lamborn said, “and campaign promises are a dime a dozen.”