Voters guide for Colorado’s 5th Congressional District primary

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
In this file photo, Pikes Peak can be seen from northern Douglas County, May 23, 2024.

The race for the district that covers Colorado Springs is wide open this year for the first time in nearly two decades. That’s because, after nine terms in office, GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn surprised many by announcing his retirement from Congress at the end of the term.

Lamborn’s decision creates an opportunity: an open seat in the now geographically smaller 5th Congressional District. The growth in and around Colorado Springs meant that during the 2021 redistricting process, the district became significantly more compact, shrinking to encompass most of El Paso County, a Republican bedrock in the state.

When the new lines were drawn, the Fifth District ended up favoring Republicans by around 20 points, based on the results of recent elections.

However, the deep red hue of the district has arguably lightened in recent years. In 2016, Donald Trump won the district by more than 20 points. In 2020, his margin shrunk to 13 points. Two years later, the GOP gubernatorial candidate won here by only 3 points, while the GOP Senate candidate won by 8 points. Still, it’s the only district in the state that has never sent a Democrat to Congress.

Both Republicans and Democrats have two-person primary contests to set the matchup for this fall’s general election.

For our voter guide, CPR reporters spoke with candidates, reviewed their websites and watched forums and debates. Top issues were determined by the results of the Voter Voices survey to understand what Coloradans care about in this election. Republican candidates responded to the top concerns of self-identified conservative and moderate voters. Democrats responded to the top issues for self-identified liberal and moderate voters.

A map showing Colorado's eight congressional districts.

Republican primary candidates

Democratic primary candidates