The Legislative Aide Who Almost Deep-Sixed Doug Lamborn

Calandra Vargas.

Calandra Vargas.

As the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Megan Schrader reports, Darryl Glenn’s stunning victory at the Republican state assembly in Colorado Springs this past weekend wasn’t the only surprise–last Thursday, Rep. Doug Lamborn found himself surprisingly and suddenly within a hair’s breadth being out of a job:

A relatively unknown state legislative aide came 18 votes shy of becoming a congresswoman Thursday.

Calandra Vargas, a 32-year-old from Colorado Springs, gave the speech of her life during the 5th Congressional District Assembly and secured 58 percent of the delegate vote.

Congressman Doug Lamborn, a five-term incumbent, received 35 percent. He needed 30 percent of the vote to make the ballot.

Had Vargas won 18 more votes she would have kicked Lamborn from the ballot – and without a Democrat in the race, Vargas would have become congresswoman by default.

As our readers know and isn’t much of a secret along the Ronald Reagan Highway, Rep. Lamborn is a relatively ineffectual and soft-headed member of Congress, who keeps his seat primarily via unquestioning support for whatever the military-industrial interests in El Paso County tell him to support. When Lamborn does make news it’s generally an embarrassment, and his ability to deliver the pork to the Fifth District has not prevented spirited primaries in just about every election cycle.

All of the conventional wisdom suggests Lamborn will face another spirited challenge this year from Sen. Ray Scott’s legislative aide as he has from businessmen and retired military officers alike, and then prevail as he has every time when the votes are counted June 28th.

Of course, the same conventional wisdom was certain Tim Neville would at least make the ballot.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Voyageur says:

    Has pols reported yet that Chuck Norris got 35 pct of the ballot at the CD 1 Assembly Saturday and will thus face Diana DeGette in the Democratic primary?  Unlike Lamborn, Degette is a very effective representative and as Chief Deputy Whip she is third in House Democrat hierarchy, after minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Whip Steny Hoyer.  I had a good talk with Norris at the County Assembly.  He's no flake and Diana needs to take him seriously.  I'm confident she will and hope to see her as Speaker in about 2022.




  2. davebarnes says:

    Is it better for Democrats to have:

    A. An experienced, total idiot GOP rep in CD-5?
    B. A newbie, guaranteed more intelligent GOP rep in CD-5?

  3. Craig says:

    Oh, so now "conventional wisdom" is nothing more than speculation.  Thanks for the clarification.

  4. ohwilleke says:

    Lamborn has been singularly ineffectual in Congress, so it isn't too surprising that he's vulnerable to even what would ordinarily be a fairly timid primary challenge.

  5. Duke Cox says:

    "…facing controversial subjects with intellectual honesty, with conviction, and with respect…"

    yeah, that would be different…

    (at about 5:27)

  6. IndyNinja says:

    The article said "without a Democrat in the race", this is not accurate. Lord only knows why anyone would want to run in CD5 as a dem, but there is in fact, a D candidate.

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