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Gazette Premium Content Lamborn forced into primary, Renfroe wins CD4 in upset

photo - Congressman Doug Lamborn  Photo by MARK REIS, THE GAZETTE + caption
Congressman Doug Lamborn Photo by MARK REIS, THE GAZETTE
By Megan Schrader Updated: April 11, 2014 at 9:15 pm

BROOMFIELD - Congressman Doug Lamborn was unexpectedly forced into a primary Friday afternoon after a late-comer to the election, Bentley Rayburn, earned enough delegate support to put his name on the June ballot.

Lamborn dominated the event getting 253 votes or 63 percent. Rayburn got 149 votes or 37 percent. A candidate is required to get at least 30 percent of the delegate vote to appear on the primary ballot.

Whoever survives the primary will face retired Air Force Maj.Gen. Irv Halter, who swept the Democratic Party multi-county assembly in Denver Friday night with 76 percent of the delegates.

Lamborn has held the 5th Congressional District since 2006 and spoke at the multi-county assembly Thursday in Broomfield about all he has accomplished in Washington, D.C.

"I've been getting results," Lamborn said. "I will continue working for conservative values with all my heart and all my soul."

He touted a variety of rankings that prove he's "100 percent conservative" and the work he's done to oppose the Affordable Healthcare Act, ensure continued oil and gas exploration and maintain open access to Brown's Canyon.

Rayburn, who has run twice for the seat but never won, took aim at Lamborn's record in a highly critical speech that emphasized there's more to being a good congressman than an extremely conservative voting record.

"We have a lot of very disgruntled veterans because of the vote Doug took to cut benefits to military veterans," Rayburn said, referencing a vote Lamborn made in support of a Democrat budget that also boosted Pentagon funding by $31 billion over two years.

Lamborn later supported a bill that restored the cost of living increases that had been cut to veterans in the budget.

Rayburn didn't stop there, going after the fact that Lamborn's wife was a paid staff member of his campaign, noting at the end that while the conversation was uncomfortable it was necessary.

Halter has launched his share of attacks on Lamborn this political season, too.

Halter said he was spurred into running for congress after a meeting with Lamborn 18 months ago about sequestration - cuts to government especially the military - and how it was hurting El Paso County.

"Instead of showing leadership and listening to his constituents he simply blamed the president, as he frequently does," Halter said. "He would rather put partisanship in front of his own district."

Halter thanked Republicans for forcing Lamborn into a primary that will clear the road for him to Washington D.C.

Halter beat out candidate Leslie Simpson-Summey who failed to get the required 30 percent of delegates to get her name on the primary ballot.

There was also a bit of an upset Friday in the 4th Congressional District - the one left vacant when Congressman Cory Gardner jumped races to run for U.S. Senate against Sen. Mark Udall.

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, who had been running for Senate, but swapped elections when Gardner entered the race, didn't take first in the delegate count.

Instead State Sen. Scott Renfroe claimed the top spot on the primary ballot with 54 percent of the vote. Buck will be second with 46 percent of the delegates.

Congressman Scott Tipton from the 3rd Congressional District also picked up a primary when David Cox landed on the ballot with 34 percent of the delegates.

Contact Megan Schrader

719-286-0644

Twitter: @CapitolSchrader

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