There’s big news this morning out of Colorado Springs, where Rep. Joel Hefley is considering running for congress as a write-in candidate in CD-5. As the Colorado Springs Gazette reports, Hefley is considering the move because of discontent with Republican nominee Doug Lamborn. If none of this makes any sense to you, let’s take a step back and bring you up to speed…
In February, Hefley ended a year of speculation and announced that he was retiring from the congressional seat he has held for 20 years. The news set off a flurry of Republican activity in CD-5, and when the dust cleared an astounding six candidates had made the ballot for the Republican primary to succeed him. The Republican nomination is so valuable because the voter registration in CD-5 is overwhelmingly Republican, meaning whoever wins the seat will essentially be a congressman for life (much like Hefley).
The primary race in CD-5 got particularly nasty, with state Sen. Doug Lamborn’s campaign being accused of going below-the-belt negative in ads and mailers against opponents Jeff Crank and Lionel Rivera. Lamborn ended up winning the primary by 892 votes, but the bitterness over his negative campaign apparently remains. It’s also important to note that Hefley is the former chair of the House Ethics Committee, so the negative campaigning was particularly sour to his taste.
Lamborn is set to face Democrat Jay Fawcett in the general election, but because Republican voters outnumber Democrats by more than 2-to-1, Fawcett is a longshot at best to pull off the upset. That might change, however, if Hefley makes himself a write-in candidate by today’s deadline; a split vote between Hefley and Lamborn could possible allow Fawcett to steal the election.