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March 20, 2006 09:00 AM UTC

Hefley Backs Crank as Successor

  • by: Colorado Pols

There have been lots of endorsements going around lately in CD-5, with Doug Lamborn and John Wesley Anderson making the most hay. But the biggest endorsement had yet to come, even though it was almost a foregone conclusion who would get it.

Today it was made official. Rep. Joel Hefley endorsed Jeff Crank to succeed him in Congress. Click below for the full press release…

Congressman Hefley Endorses Jeff Crank for Congress

Colorado Springs  Today Congressman Joel Hefley endorsed Jeff Crank to fill the seat he is vacating at the end of this session.  Jeff Crank served in Mr. Hefleys Washington D.C. office for over seven years, including serving as his Administrative Director and handling military issues as his liaison to the Armed Services Committee. 

Jeff Crank is the candidate in this race who is most equipped with the right experience and values to be the next Congressman of the 5th District, said Hefley.  Jeff knows what issues are most important to all six counties in the district and his experience working in my office will prepare him well to represent our military, and all the people of every county in this district.  I trust his conservative values.  He has been a leader in our community and party over the last several years and I will be proud to have him represent me in Congress. 

Jeff served as a staff member to U.S. Congressman Joel Hefley (R-CO) on Capitol Hill from 1991 until 1998. Jeff served as Administrative Director to the Congressman where he was responsible for all administrative operations of the Congressman’s Washington office. Additionally, he was the staff person responsible for the Congressman’s work on the House Armed Services Committee dealing with funding for the U.S. Department of Defense, including military procurement, research and development, readiness, and personnel issues. During this time, Congressman Hefley was the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Installations and Facilities which had oversight for U.S. military construction projects world-wide, and for base realignment and closure issues.

Over the last 15 years, Jeff has been an active participant in the campaign to prevent the closure of Fort Carson, Colorado, through the base closure process. He has worked at the Congressional level to secure funding for El Paso County’s five military installations and helped author legislation that allowed privatized family housing at military installations throughout the United States. He also helped author legislation that provided for Medicare subvention, providing health care to military retirees over 65. In addition, he authored, on behalf of Mr. Hefley, an amendment approved by the House which prohibited the transfer of any missile equipment or technology to China. Jeff also served as Congressman Hefley’s Legislative Assistant for defense issues and his education, labor, and government operations where he was responsible for all legislative initiatives in these areas.


34 thoughts on “Hefley Backs Crank as Successor

  1. Heard it first on Monday Thread from Ragweed

    I hear there will be a major announcement in the 5th Congressional District today. Apparently, a huge endorsement is coming for one of the candidates.

    Posted by: Ragweed at March 20, 2006 12:38 PM

  2. This might have been predictable for political insiders but this carries a lot of weight to regular people like me who are really undecided in the race but believe that Joel Hefley is the best Congressman in the country.

  3. Bruce and Williams’ endorsement didn’t get Lamborn much press. But, Hefley’s endorsement WILL get Crank BIG press.

    Lamborn…it’s your deal… are you going to fold or raise one?

  4. It’s official.  El Paso County now has another candidate for 5th Congressional.  Lionel Rivera today announced that he will seek the nomination.

    Having served on Joel’s staff in 1986, I truly wonder if there would be this many candidates of the old 5th Congressional boundaries existed (9 counties) with only 55% coming from El Paso.  As opposed to today’s totals of 85% coming from El Paso County.

    If this keeps up, Fred the District Eleven Crossing Guard will be putting his hat in the ring.  Thus, making a second and possible third ballot inevitable.

  5. Since Hefley has made his endorsement I doubt that Lamborn will get much press at all off of his endorsements.  I agree with Josh; the rank and file Republicans respect Hefley and many will support Crank because of his endorsement alone.

  6. I think this will help Crank out, but why play this card now?  It is 5 months until the primary, so I am kind of scratching my head wondering why not wait until a week or two before the assembly or the primary.

    Personally, I don?t like how this whole race has shaped up with Hefley and Crank.  Hefley denied forever that he was going to retire, and Crank resigned from the Chamber a week before Hefley suddenly got out of the race.  Lamborn and Anderson were punished for trying to get support early, but Crank was clearly out garnering support at the same time.  Crank and Hefley have treated this like it is Hefley?s seat to hold or to give, and that rubs me the wrong way.

  7. Robert,
    As well this should rub you the wrong way.  No seat in any elected office, particularly Congress, belongs to anyone to “give or hold” – it is up to the people.  That’s right, government of the people, by the people, for the people!!  Crank as the audacity to say in some of his literature “after campaigning for only a week” is a load of dingos kidneys.  I think he  has been campaigning for this since he was in pre-school.  He has said to some of his endorsees that he was never sure he wanted this office – hogwash.  He took out his web site over a year ago.  As to why play this card now, it is obvious – tomorrow is caucus day and Crank is still reeling from being outed as a lobbyist.

    Let’s talk about Crank’s ethics.  He still has not owned up to being a lobbyist – his web site still refers to him as “most recently the VP of ” yada yada at the Chamber of Commerce.  WRONG.  Most recently is also currently a Registered Lobbyist.  In fact, how ethical is it for Crank to use the Chamber’s address for his registered lobby business as evidenced at the Secretary of State’s Registration?  He continues to avoid the issue and has not admitted to it on his web site.


    If the Rank and File republicans will blindly accept this endorsement and support Crank, then they are not doing their own homework and need to do the research rather than have answers handed to them.

    Colorado Polls.
    Once again the raspberry goes to you for highlighting Crank announcements but downplaying others.  It is clear that the other candidates won’t get a fair shake.  How about now publishing the Crank Lobby article since you failed to do it when it was first published.

  8. The dynasty continues.  Originally, it was rumored that Lynn Hefley would take this seat.  Later, it was said that she might seek the Senate District 9 seat now being vacated by Doug Lamborn (due to term limits).

    Jeff Crank first made his move when he outed Cheri Ofner as REpublican Chairman for the 5th Congressional District.  After getting involved in the re-districting in El Paso County it was evident where his next move would be.

    Problem is…many Republicans have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the opportunity to seek election to the office.  John Suther, Doug Lamborn, John Anderson, and several others.

    Hefley was grooming Crank all along.  Problem for Crank is that even Joel Hefley doesn’t receive all the votes in each precinct.  There are numerous precincts in El Paso County who have higher numbers for all other Republican candidates other than Hefley.

    Anderson figured this out.  Hefley could lose the election against a formidable, well organized, and financed candidate.

  9. What I find most amusing about the comments on this thread is the time in which toldya, Josh, Clark and Gambler all posted.  Four posts within four minutes, I smell a staffer!
    Heffley is a nice endorsement, but I believe that is Crank’s only endorsement thus far isn’t it?

  10. The dynasty continues.  Originally, it was rumored that Lynn Hefley would take this seat.  Later, it was said that she might seek the Senate District 9 seat now being vacated by Doug Lamborn (due to term limits).

    Jeff Crank first made his move when he outed Cheri Ofner as REpublican Chairman for the 5th Congressional District.  After getting involved in the re-districting in El Paso County it was evident where his next move would be.

    Problem is…many Republicans have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the opportunity to seek election to the office.  John Suther, Doug Lamborn, John Anderson, and several others.

    Hefley was grooming Crank all along.  Problem for Crank is that even Joel Hefley doesn’t receive all the votes in each precinct.  There are numerous precincts in El Paso County who have higher numbers for all other Republican candidates other than Hefley.

    Anderson figured this out.  Hefley could lose the election against a formidable, well organized, and financed candidate.

  11. Apparently Hefley mentioned Doug Lamborn’s negative campaigning in his press conference.  If i were Doug, i wouldn’t want to take on the Congressman.

  12. haha
    If you were to dig a bit deeper, you would see the following quote from his announcement speech:

    “Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided. I am reminded of another time in
    America?s history that made us question our moral compass ? the civil war.
    There was a time when Americans believed that slavery was legal, yet today,
    there is no decent person who would defend slavery. So too, one day, will
    be the thought of the barbarism that is abortion.”

    Crank lumps women who reserve the right to choose for herself into the category of slave owners…and you want this guy to be your representative in Congress for potentially the next 20 years???

  13. “haha” those aren’t endorsements, those are Cranks buddies.  I could get 1,000 of my friends to say publicly that they like me, does it mean anything no, should I be running for Congress,,,NO.

  14. This is great news for Crank. Hefley’s integrity is unquestioned. He wouldn’t get behind someone if he had any question about their character or values, not matter how hard they worked for him in DC.If you had the choice of one endorsement in the 5th, this is the one you want.

  15. first of all, FRANK- the endorsement by doug bruce could be seen by many as a setback. many have begun to see him as the egotistical man he really is, including voters in CD5.

    now, MANOFTHEHOUR- i hope your buddies would support you. maybe you don’t know steve bigari (influential businessman and leader in springs) or maybe being an elected official (other than doug bruce) doesnt matter in your world. the fact that they are supporting crank is helpful to his campaign.

    and on endorsements in general: a wise man once told me to avoid them altogether. you tie yourself to those people and sometimes those people make mistakes. if you run on entirely your own merits only you can make the mistakes harmful to your campaign (EX: welker and lamborn. endorsements are an easy way to “get ahead”, but lets not forget they can harm candidates!

  16. This is great news for Crank. Hefley’s integrity is unquestioned. He wouldn’t get behind someone if he had any question about their character or values, not matter how hard they worked for him in DC.If you had the choice of one endorsement in the 5th, this is the one you want.

  17. GoodforCrank

    Spoken like a true Crank Staffer.. Crank needs this to overcome is ineptitude in not coming clean with being a lobbyist, using the Chamber’s address to register his lobbying, and comparing women who want to control their own bodies to slave owners. This comes as no surprise and obviously represents the culmination of a strategy for the first phase. What rabbits, or should we say skeletons, will he pull out of his in the second phase to coverup the blunders of the first phase?

  18. YAWN…….

    I know this is exciting to some of you….but no matter what (I know…perfect storm) a R is going to win CD 5.  So, why does it matter who it is?  I know some people will freak that I even said that, but SERIOUSLY, it will be someone who is one of the most conservative members of congress who will vote step in step with Bush & Musgrave.

    The one question and the ONE thing I care about, (or should I make that two, I’d love this ‘perfect storm to take place’), will the new rep have the backbone that Hefley had?  That is, will he stand up to Bush, will he vote against the party line on the ethics committee, will he do those things that make a democrat in another district proud to say he’s a Colorado Delegate?

  19. Robert,

    I think Crank plays this card now because he didn’t want Lamborn to get good press for his endorsements, he wanted to overshadow the Rivera announcement on Thursday, and today is caucus day.  Now whatever press Lamborn or Rivera get this week will have a statement saying that Crank got the Hefley endorsement and everyone attending the caucus tonight will know where Hefley stands. 


    You are so bitter.  First, can you please tell me what percentage of lobbyist that are currently in jail?  My guess is less than 1/4% nationwide.  The reality is that lobbying is not illegal so your “ethics” issue with Crank is illogical. 

    As for the rank and file Republicans “blindly” accepting this endorsement – face it people are mostly ignorant of the political process and if someone they trust makes a recommendation the masses will follow it.  Tough luck. 

    As for using the Chamber address on his lobbying form, t makes complete sense.  He is a lobbyist for the Chamber, what other address would he have used?

    Finally some advice Frank.  You obviously work for the Anderson campaign.  Your average person wouldn’t know that Crank got his domain name a year ago or what address he used to register as a lobbyist. 

    Good luck using that pro-choice message in El Paso County. 

    I think I should move back into the 5th CD from the 6th CD, this race is going to be great.

  20. Jeff Crank is a wannbe. Sen. Lamborn will clean up at the CD 5 Assembly. I predict the Crank yankers will get desperate and start attacking the integrity of Sen. Lamborn which will only drive them farther into the ground.

  21. Lamborn is King of CD5,

    Yeah, Crank will likely start going negative, just like Lamborn has already done against Crank bypaint Crank soley as a “lobbyist”. 

    It has to make Jeff Crank feel good that Lamborn and Anderson are both attacking him.  It means that they consider Crank the frontrunner and consider him the candidate to beat.

  22. a,
      You have to admit that he does make a good punching bag.  Crank is still not putting his lobbying activities on his resume even though he probably made more money doing that than campaigning for congress at the Chamber.  Your point is well taken though that he probably is viewed as the lead candidate.  That is a double edged sword.  Crank can not go up any higher than he is now.  And if he starts to fall, he has nothing to fall back on.  His personality will only take him so far and then people will want to see substance not emotion. 

    On another note, a couple people on the Gazette are posting responses to the article about Rivera that he has been seen attending strip clubs.  I have not seen or heard of that before, but it does not sound like the actions of someone who views themselves as capable of higher office (at least not in this district).  If people are making that up, I am disappointed that we have already stooped to that level in this race and I hope that whoever is spreading the rumor is ashamed.  If it is true, Rivera does not stand a chance.  If someone knows either way, please respond.

  23. Robert,

    I agree, the lobbying issue is what I would go after too, but to call something that is legal unethical is a bit of a stretch.  I also admit that it does look bad that Crank is not openly stating that he was a registered lobbyist; I would urge him to put it in his bio and post it on his site. 

    Since Crank doesn?t have a large amount of name recognition I still think he has a ways to go before he hit the ceiling.  And while his personality only gets him so far, I think his endorsement from Hefley and the organization he has been putting in place for the last couple of years will definitely be things he can fall back on. 

    As for Rivera I can?t speak to that and I agree that people shouldn?t make those kind of accusations.

  24. I have not been able to find anything online about Rivera going to strip clubs, so I am going to chalk that up to anonymous mudslinging that is simply mean spirited.  Since this probably is coming from someone supporting other candidates, I am doubly disappointed that this type of activity is going on. 

    On Crank, what really don?t like it how this campaign has shaped up to be orchestrated to appoint him to Congress.  I have not said anything is downright unethical, but I do think that he and Hefley have acted other than honorably and openly here.  They have not been straightforward, nor have they acted like this is the seat of the people.  They believe that this is Hefley?s seat to hold or to give away, not for the people to decide.  Your are right about Crank?s name recognition not being there.  He has a lot of name recognition in the party, but not with the voters.  That can be overcome with advertising, but his lack of experience can not.

  25. Robert,

    Sorry I didn’t mean to imply that you said it was unethical, but on of Anderson’s supporters posted here that being a lobbyist was akin to being unethical.

    As for the experience, I do think his knowledge of the political process in DC and dealing with military, education, and many other issues puts him in a unique place when compared to the other candidates.  Also, his relationships with the business community and lobbying on their behalf in Denver and in DC shows that he has intimate knowledge of their issues. 

    Here is how I see the race boiling down.  Crank and Lamborn both get the required 30% at the assembly, with Crank getting top line on the ballot.  Bremer gets less than 10% and is kept off the ballot.  Anderson may get 10%, but I only give him 3 to 1 odds and would petition on the Primary Ballot.  Rivera petitions directly onto the ballot. 

    I really think that with Lamborn and Crank fighting for the conservative base it could leave open a window of opportunity for Rivera to win.  Anderson would not be that much of an issue.  Remember what happened up here in the 6th CD with Tancredo, winning less than 30% in the Primary in a field of five or six people and taking the seat in the General Election.

  26. Thanks for clarifying on the unethical comment.

    I see things a bit differently on the candidates.  Although I agree with you that Crank has real experience, I am not sure that he has perceived experience.  The difference being that while he probably has the ability to get the job done, but I don?t think his background will appeal to the primary voters as much as he thinks it will.  He should do well at the assembly because Hefley will pull a bit of the vote, but mostly because he has been campaigning to those people for years.

    Lamborn has got huge credentials with the hard right base and that makes him strong both in the assembly and the primary.  He also has a base that he has been cultivating for years.  The only chink I see in Lamborn?s armor is that he is not in the same caliber of persuasive personality that Crank and Bremer are in.  What he has in spades over Crank is a solid voting record.  Crank?s lack of a traceable record will be used by Lamborn to try to turn the base against him.  Lamborn?s working of the base should help him at the assembly.

    Bremer still has me scratching my head.  I have to believe that he was not campaigning for this until after Hefley announced.  That must have left him totally in the dust by Crank and Lamborn who share similar beliefs to him.  Despite this, he has a number of things going for him.  He does not seem to have nearly the number of people who dislike him as the other candidates, and many people I have spoken to view him as the most qualified candidate.  The big question is see is can he get elected coming from this far behind in preparation?  He is a pretty smart guy and I don?t think he will go into a loosing situation at the assembly.  If he really is committed to running, I think he will not go into the assembly without knowing he will get at least 10%.  Otherwise, he might figure he has the name recognition to go straight to the primary and skip the assembly (but that does not seem like his style to skip the assembly).  I don?t count him out until we see a strategy from his campaign.

    I don?t think Anderson will go to the assembly unless he counts votes and makes sure he has enough.  He might be able to pull off getting the entire left side of the party vote, but I don?t know if people are going to go to the caucus for him.

    I don?t have an opinion on Rivera yet because I have not seen how he wants to position himself.  I could very well be wrong, but I don?t think the fact that he served a few years in the military are going to help him as much as he thinks.  He must have the best name recognition though, and that has to be worth a lot to the primary voter.

  27. a and Robert
    Great discussion back and forth.

    The ethical part is not about being a lobbyist but avoiding it.  As to the Chamber’s address, he was clearly lobbying on his own and started his own business but kept the regsitration as Chamber’s address…ergo..conflict of interest in mixing Chamber business with his own personal lobbying business…that is the ethical part.  As for internet addresses…this is not rocket science.  ANYONE who would have dialed up Jeff Crank’s web site address prior to it being activated would have seen that it was registered a year ago with a Florida firm.  Same goes true for his lobbyist registration…Secretary of State for Colorado web page…open literature..not rocket science and nobody’s campaign….just an interested participant like you..although I do live in CD5

  28. Frank,

    Again, so bitter. 

    Lets take your issue of ethics first.  Let’s pretend that I decided to run for office, but I know that the public will not like the fact that I did not vote in 6 out of the last 10 elections.  According to your logic, if I did not disclose that information it would be unethical, which is simply untrue.  people who run for office always promote the positive and downplay the negative, that doesn’t make it unethical by any means. 

    On the address, I don’t know what to tell you, Crank was a VP for the Chamber, who was required by law to register as a lobbyist and he did so using his work address.  Makes sense to me.  Now for the federal level, if you take a quick look at the following link you will see that with just a little bit of research, that his federal activities were registered at his home address.|2

    So it looks like you are wrong Frank.

    Now onto that fact that you are “just an interested participant”  I don’t believe that for a second because who are not working or intimately involved with a campaign don’t do research online prior to Hefley?s announcement that he is going to retire to see who has registered domain names. 


    I agree with you on perception versus reality when it comes to experience and credibility is given to people who have a voting record.  I also agree that Lamborn has voted right on the issues, but what legislation has he authored that has had an impact on Colorado?  I honestly don?t know and am just asking.  With his voting record there is bound to be a committee vote or floor vote that will make him look bad and if I were in charge I would be combing over his records and even listening to committee hearing tapes to see what he has said. 

    As for personality, I don?t think you need much of one to win elective office at the state level, just look at the Colorado statehouse for examples.  Lamborn?s lack of personality and his air of superiority will not help him.

    I think Bremer will be a non issue.  He will likely bring in his brother to help him campaign, but he won?t go anywhere.  While people do like Bremer I think Crank and Lamborn locked up commitments long ago and while they may like Bremer, they have already committed to someone else.  Take Wayne Williams as an example.  I agree that it is not his style to skip the assembly.

  29. I think your take on Lamborn is probably correct.  While a lot of people like him (myself included), they are not inspired by him.  He stands very firm on the issues, but your critique that he is essentially ineffective is dead on.  I don?t see him as a particularly effective legislator when it comes to actually getting work done.  Some people don?t want an effective legislator though but they do want an ideologue.  For those people, Lamborn is clearly the candidate, but I don?t know how much of the primary voter (or assembly voter) population that is.

    While part of me agrees with you that Bremer might be a non issue, another part does not.  The guy is very bright and would not be getting into this race without a reason.  That means he either thinks he can win, or he wants to elevate a particular issue.  It does not look to me like he is going to campaign as a one issue candidate (his website is not focused on only one thing), so that leaves him thinking he wants to (and thinks he can) win.  He might be banking on endorsements not meaning much because he is already a known candidate.  I don?t think his brother can directly give him a big boost either, but he might be raising money or other support in DC.  Personally, and for a disclaimer, I so far like this guy the best, but I am concerned that you might be right and he will not be around to vote for in August.  Lamborn is probably next, but Crank could be if he can show that he is worthy on his own terms of holding this office and that he is not Hefley Jr.

  30. Robert,

    I think we agree on Lamborn and I think your assertion that there are a lot of voters, especially in El Paso County, who would rather have someone who is willing to fall on his sword for his convictions than someone who would compromise in an effort to get legislation passed. While i don’t think that group makes up a majority of the assembly or Primary voters, I do think it is definitely upwards to 15% of the voters in El Paso, mainly because of their religious beliefs. 

    I also think that Bremer is a very bright person, but I think he jumped into the race not knowing all of the dynamics of who was supporting who and I don’t think that he has the chutzpah to make a strong showing.  As for Paul Bremer, he said some things in his book that I think would turn off the money from DC, so I amnot sure if he will be that much of a help at all. 

    I can’t wait to see what Rivera says today at his announcement.

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