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Jeff Crank wins Republican primary in CD5, Democratic primary remains close

Posted at 11:23 PM, Jun 25, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado's fifth congressional district is getting new representation next year.

Current congressman Doug Lamborn announced his retirement in January, after nearly two decades in the seat, leaving an open spot for a new lawmaker in a seat that has never been held by a Democratic candidate since its creation.

It was an early declaration of victory for Republican Jeff Crank Tuesday night, early results showed Crank defeating his opponent Dave Williams with nearly 70 percent of the vote.

For the Democratic candidates, the night didn't end with a decisive victory. Joe Reagan, a political newcomer and military veteran held a tight lead over River Gassen, also a newcomer and a professor at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS).

Crank called his win "gratifying" and said he believes his campaign message will resonate with unaffiliated voters going into November, which make up half of the registered voters in El Paso County.

"They're the biggest bloc of voters in El Paso County and in Colorado right now, I think many of them still are very conservative and this is still a conservative community, they're for limited government and they're for the things that I stand for," Crank said.

Crank previously ran against Lamborn in 2006 and 2008 and lost in both primaries.

Democratic candidates may not agree on whether or not they thought the race would be close Tuesday night, but both believe Colorado's fifth congressional district has a chance at flipping to blue in November.

"This was about bringing the message to the voters of El Paso county about winning the middle, it is close and we expected that but we’re really excited to see where this goes," Reagan said, he positioned himself as a Moderate Democrat during the primary.

Gassen said the close results were a surprise.

"I didn’t expect it was gonna be as close as it is today," Gassen said, "but also this is just a true result of democracy. Every vote should count. Every vote will count and I will order whatever the results are tonight, honestly."

Data from Colorado's redistricting commission shows Colorado's fifth congressional district as a strong Republican seat with the party having a 20 percent advantage. Lamborn won in 2022 against Democratic candidate David Torres by more than 16 percentage points.


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