Colorado 5th Congressional District: Rep. Doug Lamborn, David Torres

Democratic candidate David Torres (left) is running against Republican incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn to represent the 5th Congressional District.

CD-5 remains a solidly Republican district, with the party holding a +20 point advantage, based on eight previous elections. It is considered Colorado’s safest Republican seat.

Doug Lamborn - Republican - Incumbent

Rep. Doug Lamborn is seeking his 9th term in office. The Republican has represented Colorado’s fifth congressional district since 2007. In that time, he has survived numerous GOP primary challengers, while easily defeating his Democratic opponents in the general election in this ruby red district. He faced three GOP opponents in the primary this summer, but won the primary by about 15 points.  

In his reelection announcement, Lamborn said, “Coloradans deserve a leader with a proven, conservative voting record. I will never waver when it comes to putting America first.” 

Lamborn currently sits on the House Armed Services Committee, where he’s the ranking member of the Strategic Forces subcommittee and the Former Readiness subcommittee and the Natural Resources Committee. 

While Lamborn doesn’t introduce a lot of bills in Congress, the ones he does tend to focus on promoting conservative values, such as restricting abortion or cutting government spending like defunding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and NPR. 

During his time in Congress, Lamborn has had eight bills become law, including one that conditioned foreign aid to the West Bank and Gaza on the Palestinian Authority ending its practice of making payments to the families of fighters. Other bills named a post office and veteran’s clinic and adjusted the boundaries of federal lands in his district.

A supporter of former president Donald Trump, Lamborn voted against certifying the 2020 election results for both Arizona and Pennsylvania, only to see the former president announce in the final days of his term that U.S. Space Command headquarters would move to Alabama instead of remaining in Colorado Springs. It’s a move Lamborn and the rest of the Colorado delegation have been trying to get the Biden administration to reverse

Lamborn is also part of a bipartisan effort, with Democratic Rep. Jason Crow, to establish a Space National Guard. The proposal is part of ongoing negotiations over the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. And he recently partnered with Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse to introduce the  Protecting Kids from Fentanyl Act. The bill will allow schools to allocate some COVID relief funding toward purchasing drugs that counteract opioids, while also training teachers on how to use them.

Lamborn has come under fire during his past two years in office — he’s being sued by a former staffer who accused him of a “reckless and dangerous approach to COVID-19.” He’s also under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly using official staff for campaign tasks and personal errands.

Lamborn was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, where he earned a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas in 1978 and a J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1985. Following law school, he worked as a private attorney in Colorado Springs where he focused on business and real estate law. Lamborn got his start in politics as a member of the Colorado legislature, where he served in both the House and Senate.

Campaign filings show Lamborn has about $321,000 cash on hand going into the November election.

David Torres - Democrat - Challenger

Democratic challenger David Torres is a first-time candidate. He’s running under the slogan “AND, not or”, and said he’s tired of partisan politics and wants to unite people in the 5th congressional district, which has been redistricted to focus solely on El Paso County. 

Torres is a U.S. Air Force Reserve veteran who spent seven years at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. He said legislation to give veterans better benefits should be a top priority in this military-heavy district. Other issues he supports include removing barriers to mental health care, raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, Medicare for All, and greater transparency in government spending.

If elected to Congress, Torres said he’d like to bring Colorado policies and politics to the national stage. He believes Colorado’s elections are among the most accessible in the country and he wants those policies to be a model for states across the nation. He also sees Colorado as a leader in the protection of legal abortion; he supports the state’s Reproductive Health and Equity Act which became law earlier this year.

When asked what he’d do during his first month in office, Torres said his priority would be to build relationships with other representatives in D.C.

Torres has taken what he describes as a simple approach to campaigning: attending events in El Paso County, making himself available for meetings in person or on the phone, and hiring knowledgeable campaign staff.

Born in Puerto Rico, Torres moved to Colorado Springs when he was four years old. Following high school, he immediately joined the United States Air Force Reserves. After seven years, he found a job in healthcare administration where he worked for a decade. He then returned to school to earn a degree in English. Torres considered law school, but at the last minute decided to “shift his focus and provide a service to his community” by running for Congress. 

Torres has about $4,000 cash on hand going into November’s election.

CPR's Caitlyn Kim contributed to this report.