5th Congressional District: Republican Jeff Crank

Caitlyn Kim/CPR News
Republican congressional candidate Jeff Crank at a meet and greet with voters in Colorado Springs on April 2, 2024.

Jeff Crank has been around for a long time in Colorado’s conservative politics, but has never held elected office before.

Most recently, Crank ran a political consulting firm and worked as a local talk show host for the Colorado Springs talk radio station KVOR AM. He has also worked as the Colorado director for Americans for Prosperity, the conservative Koch brothers-linked political advocacy group focused on free markets and limited government spending. In that role he hosted a podcast for the group.

This is Crank’s third run at the seat. The former staffer of GOP Rep. Joel Hefley ran for the seat in 2006 when Hefley retired, losing to the current incumbent Doug Lamborn. Crank also mounted an unsuccessful primary against Lamborn in 2008. In this run, Crank has been endorsed by AFP Action and House Speaker Mike Johnson.

Crank spoke with CPR News about his stance on the issues voters said are most important to them.

On democracy and good governance

For Crank, good governance means “being transparent in what government does and what agencies and bodies do” and using the office to make life better for Americans.

Currently, he’d give Congress a C-, not just for spending too much money, but also for failing to following regular order. “It’s just not a thoughtful process at this point. It’s this sort of mad scramble at the end.” 

Crank said, if elected, there are many things he won’t agree on with Democratic representatives, but there will be some. He pointed to the bill to force the parent company of TikTok to divest as an example something that both sides of the aisle supported and that he would have, too. Like many other congressional candidates, he said he’s not going to compromise on his principles, but on issues where he can agree with others, “I do want to work and find solutions.” 

To describe his potential approach, Crank turned to a quote from Frederick Douglass. “‘I will work with any person to do good and no one to do harm.’ You know, I think we ought to look at it that way,” said Crank. “Not everything has to be a fight.”

On immigration

Like other conservatives, Crank said the country needs to prioritize securing the border. For him that includes hiring more border control agents, building a wall — although only in areas “where it makes sense” and not along the entire southern border — as well as investing more in border technology like sensors. 

Crank does think the government should fix an immigration system “that’s broken,” but added, “I don’t think the American people are going to tolerate those being fixed without border security.”

He’s open to a solution that would help Dreamers, but also said, “we have got to get away from this notion, too, that every 30 years, we can just wave the magic wand and just kind of grant immunity to everybody who came before, because that doesn't encourage the rule of law.”  He also believes asylum seekers should have to apply through a third country, instead of being able to do it after crossing the border.

He also believes the Biden Administration should be doing more to enforce the current immigration laws.

On the economy and cost of living

Crank believes inflation has its roots in too much government spending. 

“We put our foot on the gas during COVID to try and stimulate the economy as a country and we never took our foot off the gas,” he said. “Let’s slow down on spending… we [also] need to reexamine the size and scope of the government.”

Like many conservatives, he’s not a fan of government regulation or mandates, which he thinks have also contributed to higher prices. For example, if the government mandates everyone has to use an electric stove, he explained, “there’s a cost to that. It will cause the cost of electric stove to go up and it will impact families.” He would look to cut back on regulations “to help unleash more economic prosperity for America’s families.”

He would also support the extension of the Trump tax cuts, saying it is important for businesses in particular to have certainty that they will continue.