Incumbent U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, will stroll through his re-election campaign without blinking.
Or will he?
Although third-party candidates often run campaigns with the goal of bringing particular issues to the forefront, there are also third partiers that are serious about winning.
Green Party candidate Misha Luzov acknowledged that he has virtually no chance but wants to get people thinking more about the environment and climate change. But independent candidate Dave Anderson and Libertarian Jim Pirtle are determined to overthrow Lamborn.
Political observers know that incumbents such as Lamborn, who was elected in 2006 in the 5th Congressional District, are difficult for challengers to knock off, especially in districts where their party holds a solid majority. Such is the case with Lamborn in the 5th District, where there are 205,000 Republicans and 107,000 Democrats.
But there are also 168,000 unaffiliated voters, and Anderson is counting on them.
“We’re going to win,” Anderson said. “We started early, and with the very pragmatic platform we put together, the Democrats, who can’t win, decided not to run anyone. So we started with 30 percent of the vote.”
Anderson focuses on economic issues and national security, and he pointed to a lengthy list of endorsements from Democrats and business-oriented Republicans who, he said, are dissatisfied with Lamborn.
To illustrate, he said, his endorsements include Richard Skorman, a Democrat and former city councilman, and Mike Kazmierski, former CEO of the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation.
Pirtle said that while he has a very small organization, all people have to do is get to know him, and they’ll vote for him.
“On Nov. 6, I’ll either be going to Congress or starting a campaign for Congress in 2014,” Pirtle said.
“I’m not giving up on it. The people need to be represented.”
Pirtle’s biggest gripe with the federal government is national security, and what he sees as unconstitutional powers granted to the president and organizations such as the CIA.
A fifth candidate, from the American Constitution Party, Ken Harvell, is also running but could not be reached for comment. His website, however, is plastered with mile-long platform statements, regarding everything from the role of government to God.
Lamborn, for his part, says he never takes a re-election race for granted, no matter how safe his seat may appear to be. But he also said he’s not sweating too hard.
“I’m not going to lose sleep over the race, and I didn’t the first time I ran.”
Lamborn said that Anderson, who seems like the toughest competitor, seems more like a Democrat than an independent, and that his views won’t fly in the district.
“His views tend to go towards big government solutions, and I don’t think that’s very popular in this district,” Lamborn said.
The last financial reports from the campaigns were filed with the Federal Election Commission on June 30. At the time, Lamborn led the pack with $522,000 in contributions. Anderson brought in $169,000. Pirtle raised $3,444.
Luzov and Harvell reported no contributions.
But those numbers have likely changed significantly in the last few months. The next financial reports must be filed Oct. 15.