Town hall season in Colorado Springs is not only of interest for the way angry crowds are meeting Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn, it’s also of interest for Colorado election politics watchers looking for pregame action by which to gauge a likely top primary race in the state.
Lamborn is gamely wrestling at town halls across his conservative 5th District with angry constituents alarmed mainly by Trump administration bumbling and the Republican health care reform plan.
He was jeered by an overflow crowd at a meeting in Colorado Springs on Wednesday, as the Gazette reported. The crowd mocked him when he said he supported renewable energy. They pushed him on climate change. They shouted out “Affordable Care Act” whenever he said “Obamacare.”
The crowd included some 40 members of a group called the Colorado Springs-Colorado Action Network — an anti-Trump mostly progressive group, according to the Gazette.
Lamborn afterward told the Gazette he enjoyed the meeting. “Democracy in action,” he said.
Also working Colorado Springs with a list of town halls this month is state Sen. Owen Hill, the charismatic conservative Republican gunning for Lamborn’s seat in Congress. He held a town hall last week and he has two scheduled for April 22 and 29.
Hill told The Statesman at the beginning of the month that he respected the hardline Congressional Freedom Caucus for “stepping up and saying, ‘Here’s the things we want.’” He added that he has established a get-things-done record at the Capitol in Denver. “Trying to represent my district as well as I can and work well with everybody, that’s my passion,” he said.
Hill has led on school choice education efforts in the state Senate. This year, he’s also making headlines for attempting to move the state forward on driverless car policies, looking to bring industry entrepreneurs to the state and lead the nation in adoption of the technology. He’s pitched his bill on the subject as a forward-looking way to address some of the transportation woes that plague the state.
Lamborn recently announced he’s seeking a seventh term in Congress. While any Republican would win his deep-red district seat handily in a general election, Lamborn has now weathered five GOP primary battles. But Hill presents a serious challenge in an election climate in which nothing seems certain.
*Note: The original version of this story reported that Lamborn hadn’t yet announced he was running for another term in Congress. He has announced, as reported by the Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning.