It’s been 10 earthshaking days since Rep. Joel Hefley first announced he would not, could not, support Doug Lamborn’s “sleazy” attempt to replace him in Congress.
But as dusted off versions of that same report, first reported in the Gazette, surfaced again in the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News, the talk has shifted toward a potential irreconcilable split between warring Republicans that could potentially take a toll on other GOP candidates in the El Paso County stronghold – especially gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez.Which bring us to Jeff Crank – Hefley’s former aide who lost the race to Lamborn, and who is now the county co-chairman for the Beauprez campaign. In an interview this week, Crank was coy when asked to respond to Hefley’s flat-out refusal to endorse the Republican candidate.
“You know, I don’t really have a comment on it,” Crank says.
Is he surprised that his former boss came out so strongly against Lamborn?
“I don’t really have a comment on it,” Crank repeats.
Nor has Crank weighed in on whether he will back Lamborn in the congressional race that he lost by less than 1,000 votes. The day after the election, Crank took the stage, along with other former candidates, as part of a “unity rally” for Republicans in downtown Colorado Springs. However, he says now, that was not a signal that he has bestowed his blessing on his former rival.
“I haven’t endorsed Doug Lamborn because I haven’t been asked to endorse Doug Lamborn,” Crank says. I showed up at a Republican unity rally to show Republican unity.”
Crank, a former government affairs exec with the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the 5th Congressional District Republican Central Committee who now operates his own consulting business, says that Lamborn recently contacted him, and he will not formally weigh in on the race – if he does at all – until he’s had a chance to talk person-to-person.
“That’s a private discussion that Doug and I have to have – and it won’t be anywhere you know about,” Crank says. “I kind of feel like I owe it to Doug to talk to him, not to blast him or anything but to talk about some issues.”
So is there a chance that Crank will become a Republican for Democrat Jay Fawcett?
“Of course not,” he says.
Only one other candidate in the six-man primary race has publicly supported Lamborn –