Colorado rep survives primary scare

Greg Nash

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) has narrowly avoided a primary upset, holding on against perennial candidate and former Air Force Major General Bentley Rayburn (R).

With all precincts reporting, Lamborn topped Rayburn 53 percent to 47 percent. 

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Lamborn, one of the House's most conservative members, wasn't thought to be in real danger heading into primary night. Rayburn has lost two previous races to the congressman, in 2006 and 2008, and ran an underfunded campaign. Lamborn was confident enough in his standing to spend Tuesday in Washington, D.C. rather than campaigning in Colorado.

Still, the incumbent struggled to raise money this cycle, and polling had indicated this race would be closer than other primaries the congressman has faced. In 2012, Lamborn defeated challenger Robert Blaha 61 to 39 percent in that year's GOP primary. 

But in the military-heavy district, Rayburn's attacks on Lamborn as a career politician who voted for the government shutdown and backed the bipartisan budget that kept in place some military cuts nearly worked on his third try for office.

Lamborn's campaign hit back in the final week, criticizing Rayburn with an ad of their own. Ultimately, Rayburn's attacks were not enough to discourage voters from turning out for Lamborn. 

The GOP incumbent will now face off against retired Maj. Gen. Irv Halter (D) in the general election, but Lamborn is the favorite in the heavily Republican district. 

 

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