A state lawmaker challenging U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn in this month's Republican primary launched a TV ad Thursday touting his conservative credentials and support for former President Donald Trump's agenda.
The 30-second ad released by state Rep. Dave Williams' campaign says the Colorado Springs Republican has "never voted for tax or spending increases" and calls the three-term legislator a "passionate, pro-Second Amendment, pro-veteran and pro-life Christian family man" over images of the candidate aiming a pistol at a shooting range, talking to constituents and posing for a portrait with his wife and two children.
Williams is one of three Republicans hoping to deny Lamborn a ninth term representing the heavily Republican El Paso County-based 5th Congressional District.
Mail ballots start going out to most Colorado voters on Monday and are due back to county clerks by 7 p.m. June 28.
"A conservative warrior with a proven record in the state House, Dave Williams led the fight against radical Democrats and RINOs," the ad's narrator says, using a phrase that stands for "Republicans in name only," an insult hurled by some Republicans at fellow party members they deem insufficiently conservative.
Williams told Colorado Politics his campaign is spending running the ad on Fox News Channel "and will expand to other stations soon." He said the campaign is spending five figures on the ad but didn't disclose more details on the ad buy.
The ad features a still photo of Williams standing next to a smiling Trump and footage of Williams in front of a pickup truck festooned with Trump banners.
"Dave Williams fought hard for Trump against the corrupt establishment, and he'll champion our 'America First' agenda," the ad says, citing a slogan Trump's supporters have adopted.
Lamborn co-chaired Trump's reelection campaign in Colorado last cycle and was considered a staunch Trump ally when the Republican occupied the White House. In the last year, however, Lamborn has led the charge accusing the former president of playing politics by awarding the headquarters of U.S. Space Command to Huntsville, Alabama, instead of keeping the installation at its temporary home in Colorado Springs.
A pair of federal reviews — including one released on Thursday — concluded that Trump's decision overruled recommendations by top military brass, who wanted to keep the headquarters where they are.
Trump hasn't made an endorsement in Colorado's 5th CD primary.
In June 2020 the Colorado Trump campaign severed ties with Williams, who had been the campaign's liaison to the state's Republican legislators, after Williams referred to himself as a "Colorado Surrogate for President Trump" in a mailer endorsing a legislative candidate running in a hotly contested primary. Williams complained he was fired from the campaign for endorsing a conservative candidate, but Trump campaign officials told Colroado Politics it was because he implied the candidate had Trump's support when he didn't.
Williams lost a court battle last month to appear on primary ballots with the nickname "Let's Go Brandon," a phrase used by critics of President Joe Biden to express contempt for the Democrat. Although Wiliams said in a lawsuit that he routinely identifies himself with the phrase, it doesn't appear in the ad.
A campaign spokeswoman said Lamborn has launched TV and radio ads but couldn't say where the ads are airing, how much the campaign is spending or what the ads say. She declined to comment on Williams' ad.
Lamborn's other two Republican challengers, Rebecca Keltie and Andrew Heaton, said they don't have plans to advertise on TV.
"I’m on the ground WITH the people. Going non-stop connecting with them," Keltie said in a text message, adding that from what she can tell, her primary opponents "are literally radio silent on the grassroots front."
Democrats David Torres and Michael Colombe are seeking their party's nomination in the district.