Jeff Crank beats Dave Williams in Republican primary in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District (2024)

COLORADO SPRINGS — Conservative commentator and activist Jeff Crank, aided by $2.7 million in super PAC spending, overwhelmingly defeated Colorado GOP Chairman Dave Williams in the 5th District Congressional District Republican primary Tuesday.

The race was called by The Associated Press at 8:09 p.m., when Crank had 68% of the vote.

The El Paso County district is considered a Republican stronghold, so Crank is likely to win in November, too, replacing longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, who is retiring at the end of his term.

Lamborn has held the seat since 2007.

Taking the stage at Boot Barn Hall to chants of “Jeff! Jeff! Jeff!” Crank vowed to fight for limited government and individual freedom. And he asked for party unity.

“Our party now must unify,” he said. “And in order to do that, it takes grace. And it takes forgiveness after hard fought battles. But it’s what’s required of people who love liberty and freedom more than themselves.”

He also vowed to help Donald Trump win the presidency in November, and support conservative values.

“Our Republican Party, and our nation, must stand for freedom and liberty for all people,” Crank said. “That needs to be what defines our party. We must stand against big government and crushing debt. We must stand for educational freedom, religious freedom and economic freedom.”

Jeff Crank beats Dave Williams in Republican primary in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District (2)

Crank’s election party drew several hundred fellow Republicans, including El Paso County Vice Chairman Todd Watkins, former Secretary of State Wayne Williams, state Sen. Larry Liston and state Rep. Mary Bradfield. Crank was walking around the concert hall, greeting guests, shortly before polls closed at 7 p.m.

Williams, who held a private watch party at Church at Briargate in Colorado Springs, said the race was proof of the “disproportionate influence that dark money organizations and out-of-state billionaires have on elections across the country.”

“This was not a campaign against Jeff Crank, but a battle against deep-pocketed influence peddlers that wish to control this district,” Williams said in a written statement after his loss. He said he faced an “onslaught of over $2 million in negative, deceitful advertisem*nts” and was the No. 1 “target of the liberal press and establishment class in Washington.”

“I never backed down from a fight and never compromised my conservative, Christian beliefs,” Williams added, vowing to continue to serve as GOP chair and help primary winners across the state “ensure that we have successful conservative victories up and down the ballot in November.”

Jeff Crank beats Dave Williams in Republican primary in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District (3)

The Republican primary in the 5th District became a battle for the soul of the GOP, symbolizing the divisions between the traditional wing of the party and the firebrand wing allied with former President Donald Trump.

Trump and the political arm of the House Freedom Caucus endorsed Williams, a former state representative, while House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, endorsed Crank, a regional executive for the conservative political nonprofit Americans For Prosperity.

Williams drew criticism for mailers paid for and sent by the state party supporting him and attacking Crank. A campaign finance report filed by the party showed it spent $20,000 to benefit Williams in May.

He self-funded his campaign with $60,000 in loans, but used the Colorado GOP to fight back against the super PAC onslaught.

Crank benefited from a tsunami of super PAC spending in the primary.

The super PAC affiliated with Americans For Prosperity spent $504,000 in canvassing, mailers and digital ads backing Crank in the district.

Four other super PACs spent $1.9 million attacking Williams via TV, radio and digital ads, as well as via text messages and mailers.

  • America Leads Action, a conservative super PAC funded by conservative entrepreneur Jay Faison and Walmart heir and Denver Broncos co-owner Rob Walton, spent about $1.4 million on the race
  • Conservatives for American Excellence, funded primarily by a related nonprofit that doesn’t disclose its donors, spent $703,000
  • Colorado Dawn, which will disclose its donors in July, spent nearly $69,000 on text messaging
  • Restoring Standards PAC, which will disclose its donors in July, spent $68,000 on radio ads, texting and a mailer

The only super PAC spending to benefit Williams was a $6,200 mailer from Gun Owners of America attacking Crank.

Both Crank and Williams are highly conservative, but differ in substance and style.

Williams is a 2020 election conspiracy theorist, favors far-right positions and calls The Colorado Sun “fake news.” Crank, meanwhile, rejects election conspiracies, believes the U.S. should aid Ukraine and has said he is open to working across the aisle to get things done.

Jeff Crank beats Dave Williams in Republican primary in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District (4)

Williams’ tenure as head of the state Republican party has also been divisive for the party.

After the party made anti-LGBTQ social media posts, several Republican leaders asked him to resign. One post asked people to “Burn all the #pride flags this June” and a blog post from Williams said the “godless groomers in our society want to attack what is decent, holy, and righteous so they can ultimately harm our children.”

This is Crank’s third run to represent the 5th District. He lost to Lamborn in the Republican primaries in 2006 and 2008. Williams challenged Lamborn unsuccessfully in the 5th District Republican primary in 2022.

In the Democratic primary in the 5th District, science educator River Gassen faced Army veteran Joe Reagan. The two were in a dead heat, tied with about 17,000 votes each at 11 p.m. It may be days before a winner becomes clear.

But given the 5th District’s Republican lean, Crank is far and away the favorite to win in November.

Lamborn beat his Democratic opponent by 16 percentage points in 2022 and by 20 percentage points in 2020.

Colorado Sun staff writers Jennifer Brown and Jesse Paul contributed to this report.


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Colorado Springs

Type of Story: News

Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Jeff Crank beats Dave Williams in Republican primary in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District (2024)


Who represents the 5th congressional district from Colorado? ›

The district lies in the center of the state and comprises Colorado Springs and its suburbs including Cimarron Hills and Fort Carson. The district is currently represented by Republican Doug Lamborn.

What US congressional district is Colorado Springs in? ›

The Fifth District is proud to encompass the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado College, Pikes Peak State College, and Colorado Technical University.

Who represents Colorado Springs in Congress? ›

Doug Lamborn | | Library of Congress.

Who ruled the 5th district? ›

It is represented by Republican Tom McClintock.

Who is the Colorado state senator for district 5? ›

Colorado's 5th Senate district is one of 35 districts in the Colorado Senate. It has been represented by Republican Perry Will since 2023 following the resignation of fellow Republican Bob Rankin.

Is Colorado democratic or republican? ›

Colorado gained statehood in August 1876. After voting primarily Republican from 1920-2004, the state has voted with the Democrats in the last four presidential elections, including Joe Biden's 13.5% margin in 2020.

How many representatives from Colorado are Republican? ›

Current delegation

Colorado's current congressional delegation to the 118th Congress consists of two senators, both of whom are Democrats, and eight representatives comprising five Democrats and three Republicans.

Who are the 7 Colorado representatives? ›

Current members
  • 1st district: Diana DeGette (D) (since 1997)
  • 2nd district: Joe Neguse (D) (since 2019)
  • 3rd district: Lauren Boebert (R) (since 2021)
  • 4th district: Greg Lopez (R) (since 2024)
  • 5th district: Doug Lamborn (R) (since 2007)
  • 6th district: Jason Crow (D) (since 2019)

Who are your 2 senators that represent Colorado? ›

Colorado was admitted to the Union on August 1, 1876 and elects U.S. senators to Senate class 2 and class 3. Both of Colorados current U.S. senators are Democrats Michael Bennet (serving since 2009) and John Hickenlooper (serving since 2021).

Who is the Democratic Congressman for Colorado? ›

Congressman Joe Neguse | Representing the 2nd District of Colorado.

How many congressional districts are there in Colorado? ›

Colorado is divided into eight congressional districts, each represented by a member of the United States House of Representatives. Colorado's congressional districts since 2023.

Who represents the districts in Colorado? ›

Current districts and representatives
Current U.S. representatives from Colorado
DistrictMember (Residence)Incumbent since
3rdLauren Boebert (Silt)January 3, 2021
4thGreg Lopez (elect) (Elizabeth)June 25, 2024
5thDoug Lamborn (Colorado Springs)January 3, 2007
5 more rows

Who is the US representative for Denver Colorado? ›

Congresswoman Diana DeGette |Representing the First District of Colorado.

How do I find my Colorado state representative? ›

This application allows you to find your state Senator and Representative in the Colorado State Legislature. To use the search, enter your address information in the search bar located on the left side of the screen and click the search button.


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