It’s the home stretch to the primary election, and its déjà vu in the GOP race for the 5th Congressional District. For the third time, incumbent Congressman Doug Lamborn is facing off against retired Major General Bentley Rayburn.
Both conservative Republicans squared off at Centennial Hall. For Lamborn, it was his first debate since 2008.
Lasting a little over an hour, the candidates answered questions from a media panel, the audience and social media and even one question from each other.
“What would be the difference if you had not gone to Washington to vote?” Rayburn asked.
Lamborn spent much of the debate defending his record and accomplishments.
“I feel like my record is second to none and is not just based on words it’s based on actions,” Lamborn said.
Rayburn was put on the defense because of his own words when he admittedly plagiarized former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton during a speech in 2009.
“I made a mistake and I owned up to it. I will tell you it certainly wasn’t intentional,” Rayburn said.
Lamborn said his proudest accomplishment was adding to the military missions in the area.
“Active duty military was about 27-thousand. Now it’s 39-thousand. Almost a 50 percent increase,” Lamborn said.
But Rayburn believes more military personnel in our area don’t do enough for the economy.
“Colorado Springs had only 34-hundred more jobs at the end of 2013 then at the end of 2000. Our economy has been very stagnant outside of the U.S. military,” Rayburn said.
What was debated for a little over an hour may not have changed many minds in a room full of partisans; the candidates hope the debate can separate them enough in the minds of Republican voters on Election Day June 24.