In a break from the cliffhangers that nearly kept him from the ballot in the last two elections, U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn has qualified for a spot in Colorado's June primary election after submitting enough valid petition signatures, the Secretary of State's Office said Friday.
The Colorado Springs Republican, who isn't facing a primary challenge this year, met the petition requirement with plenty of signatures to spare in a bid for an eighth term representing the conservative 5th Congressional District.
Calling the Colorado Springs-based district "the most beautiful congressional district in the country," Lamborn on Friday told Colorado Politics that he was honored that thousands of its "well-informed and thoughtful voters" signed his petitions.
“This election season is unique in many ways, but the time-tested values we cherish must be protected," he said. "It is vital to protect and defend our God-given rights embodied in the Constitution.”
Of the 2,813 signatures gathered by Lamborn's campaign, election officials determined 2,218 were valid, well beyond the 1,500 required for congressional candidates to access the June 30 ballot.
He's the second candidate whose petition has been deemed sufficient, following a Denver Democrat who qualified for the ballot Thursday in a statehouse race.
Lamborn also plans to go through the assembly process, which will require receiving the support of just 10% of delegates since he's already qualified by petition.
It's a far cry from the close calls that surrounded Lamborn's attempts to make the ballot in the last two elections.
In 2016, a mostly unknown conservative activist nearly kept the incumbent from the ballot at the district assembly, and in 2018 Lamborn had to wage an expensive, protracted court battle to stay on the ballot after Republicans alleged his petition contained irregularities.
If a primary challenger doesn't emerge in coming weeks, it will be only the second time in Lamborn's eight runs for Congress that he's won the nomination without a battle.
In the last election, Lamborn defeated four primary challengers with 52% of the vote, finishing more than 30 percentage points ahead of then-El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn and a couple more points ahead of state Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, who was one of the Republicans charging Lamborn's petitions fell short.
Lamborn, who co-chairs President Donald Trump's re-election campaign in Colorado, sits on the House Armed Services and Natural Resources committees.
The 5th District includes El Paso, Chaffee, Fremont and Teller counties and portions of Park County. Since it was created in 1972, it has only sent Republicans to Congress.
Democrats running for the seat include first-time candidates Jillian Freeland, Ryan Lucas and Brandon Bocchino.