CongressElection 2018Hot SheetMilitary

Colorado’s military power at stake in November election

Author: Tom Roeder, The Gazette - September 17, 2018 - Updated: September 17, 2018

cf32af70e498127f01701ba75449b039.jpg
Doug LambornU.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn. (Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette)

In November’s election, Colorado’s outsized pull on one powerful House committee will be in the balance.

With a pair of leading Republicans, Reps. Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman, sitting in powerful positions on the House Armed Services Committee, Colorado has had a relatively easy ride in recent years. Colorado Springs has gotten an influx of troops and more missions thanks to the pair.

Coffman leads the subcommittee on military personnel, and Lamborn is the No. 2 lawmaker on the subcommittee that oversees nuclear weapons, space and missile defense.

The duo has virtual veto power on defense initiatives thanks to the committee posts.

But Colorado has all of its eggs in a Republican basket when it comes to political power on defense issues. And all of the state’s political pull on military issues sits in the House.

The state’s three Democrats in the House aren’t on military committees. In the Senate, Republican Cory Gardner and Democrat Michael Bennet don’t have defense committee assignments.

So, what does this mean?

Democrats are making a strong push to reclaim the majority in the House. The website pollster.com shows Democrats with a 7-point lead on generic ballots for House seats.

If the Democrats take the chamber, Lamborn and Coffman, if they manage to win in November, could be relegated to the minority, with a significant decline in their ability to influence defense spending and policy.

In Colorado Springs, with five military bases, 40,000 active-duty troops and more than $18 billion in annual Pentagon spending, that kind of political change could hit us squarely in the wallet.

Tom Roeder, The Gazette

Tom Roeder, The Gazette