Colorado's 5th congressional district election, 2006
|Elections in Colorado|
The Colorado 5th congressional district election, 2006 was an election for the United States House of Representatives. It was an open seat as incumbent Joel Hefley (R) did not run for re-election. A bitterly fought Republican primary on August 8, 2006 was won by Republican State Senator Doug Lamborn. The Democratic nominee, Jay Fawcett, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who served in the 1991 Iraq war, had no primary opposition.
In the November 7, 2006 general election, this race ordinarily would be considered a safe Republican seat, as the south-central Colorado district (which included Colorado Springs) gave President Bush 66 percent of the vote in 2004. But because of a contentious primary and other reasons, the race has become somewhat competitive. In early October, CQPolitics.com rated it as Republican Favored.
On February 16, 2006, Hefley ended speculation as to whether he would seek re-election in 2006, instead retiring after 10 terms in Congress. He retired as the longest-serving member of Colorado's Congressional Delegation at the time.
Primary campaign and results
Jay Fawcett was unopposed in his Democratic primary. He received 10,238 votes in the primary.
On the Republican side, there were six candidates in the primary, including Hefley's former aide, Jeff Crank. The eventual winner, Doug Lamborn, was backed by the conservative Club for Growth. The results were:
- Doug Lamborn - 15,126 votes - 26.97%
- Jeff Crank - 14,234 votes - 25.38%
- Bentley B. Rayburn - 9,735 votes - 17.36%
- Lionel Rivera - 7,213 votes - 12.86%
- John Wesley Anderson - 6,474 votes - 11.54%
- Duncan Bremer - 3,310 votes - 5.90%
On August 29, 2006, Hefley expressed anger that his successor was not his top aide, Jeff Crank. Commenting on the primary campaign, Hefley said, "I spent eight years trying to get rid of the sleaze factor in Congress...It's not something I can do to help put more sleaze factor in Congress.". Hefley was incensed at tactics such as a mailed brochure from the Christian Coalition of Colorado associating Crank with "public support for members and efforts of the homosexual agenda." Hefley said that he "suspected, but couldn't prove, collusion between Lamborn's campaign, which is managed by Jon Hotaling, and the Christian Coalition of Colorado, which is run by Hotaling's brother, Mark."  Hefley called it "one of the sleaziest, most dishonest campaigns I've seen in a long time,", and refused to endorse Lamborn.
There are three declared write-in candidates for the November election:
- Richard D. Hand (R)
- Gregory S. Hollister (R)
- Brian X. Scott (D)
Polls and ratings
In early October, CQPolitics.com changed their rating of this race from Safe Republican to Leans Republican 
A Mason-Dixon poll showed this race to be a tossup, with Fawcett and Lamborn both receiving 37% support.
|Source||Date||Fawcett (D)||Lamborn (R)||Undecided||Margin of error|
|Mason-Dixon||November 1, 2006||40%||47%||5%|
|9NEWS/SurveyUSA||October 19, 2006||38%||51%||12%|
|Mason-Dixon||October 3, 2006||37%||37%|
- Greg Giroux (October 2, 2006). "Colorado Roundup: 5th District No Longer Safe for GOP".
- Sprengelmeyer, M.E. (2006-02-17). "Hefley calls it a career". Rocky Mountain News.
- "Primary Elections (August 2006)". Colorado Cumulative Report: Official Results: Primary Election.
- Anne C. Mulkern and Erin Emery (2006-09-06). "Hefley slams 5th District GOP hopeful". Denver Post.
- Foster, Dick (2006-09-08). "Hefley denies damage: Refusal to support Lamborn won't hurt GOP, he says". Rocky Mountain News.
- Official Candidate list for Nov 7 2006 General Election, Colorado
- "Image Viewer". Denver Post.
- Doug Lamborn's Congressional campaign site
- Jay Fawcett's Congressional campaign site
- Rich Hand's Congressional campaign site
- The truth behind the 5th district ads October 19, 2006