Colorado 5: Lamborn Defeats Wealthy Challenger

Nathan L. Gonzales June 27, 2012 · 11:56 AM EDT

Every incumbent isn’t going to lose and the candidate that spends the most money doesn’t always win. Those are just two lessons learned from the Republican primary in Colorado’s 5th District, where Rep. Doug Lamborn defeated wealthy businessman Robert Blaha, 61 percent to 39 percent.

Early on primary night, it appeared that the incumbent was headed for defeat, but vote totals for the two candidates were initially transposed by the Associated Press.

Lamborn is easily one of the most conservative members in the House, so there wasn’t much room to his right. But Blaha gained notice by dumping a quarter of a million dollars of his own money into the race, which he spent largely on television ads. But Lamborn took the challenge seriously and ultimately prevailed with his widest primary margin ever.

Lamborn received 27 percent and 44 percent in two previous GOP primaries against multiple candidates in 2006 and 2008, but was unopposed in 2010. This year, he was supposed to be vulnerable in his first ever one-on-one battle, but he won comfortably.