State Sen. Owen Hill knocked El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn as “long on talk and short on accomplishments” after news broke Friday that Glenn was planning to join Hill in a Republican primary challenging U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District.
Colorado Politics reported Friday morning that Glenn was notifying leading Republicans he planned to join the race “within a few weeks,” according to text messages sent by Glenn. “A lot has happened over the last week to move me to running,” Glenn added.
Hill, who declared his bid to unseat Lamborn in early April, derided Glenn as a “career politician” and took a swing at the pile of cash Glenn has left over after his unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign last year against Democrat Michael Bennet.
“Yes, I did hear he was looking for a job, especially after his failed U.S. Senate bid — on to the next race I guess? Term limits strike career politicians again,” Hill told Colorado Politics in an email. “I’m honored by the donors who gave to THIS campaign, for THIS office and ensured I had a record quarter.”
Hill raised roughly $225,000 in the just-completed fundraising quarter, Colorado Politics was first to report. It’s the most contributions raised in a single quarter for any 5th District candidate in the decade since Lamborn won the heavily Republican seat after a bitter, crowded primary in 2006. At the end of June, Hill’s campaign had $195,000 on hand, he plans to report in an FEC filing due July 17.
Hill’s campaign spokesperson pointed out that Glenn can use unspent campaign funds from last year’s U.S. Senate run on a congressional campaign.
After raising just over $4 million for his 2016 U.S. Senate campaign, Glenn had $157,507 on hand at the end of March, according to a quarterly campaign finance report. (Glenn had more money left in his campaign account than the total contributions he raised before last year’s U.S. Senate primary, which amounted to $137,032.)
“I wonder if he is going to use the money he didn’t use to fight Michael Bennet to fund his campaign?” Kyle Forti said.
A self-described “unapologetic Christian, constitutional conservative, pro-life, Second Amendment-loving American,” Glenn ran 5.7 points behind Bennet in last year’s election after winning the GOP nomination in a field of five primary candidates.
“I’m running on years of current and active leadership, a voting record to back it up and an all-time-high quarter of support against our incumbent congressman,” Hill said. “Darryl seems long on talk and short on accomplishments.”
“While we welcome him and anyone else into the race, we’re incredibly confident moving forward that voters and our CD 5 community will continue to rally behind new energy and proven conservative leadership.”
Glenn didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.
A retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, Glenn was twice elected to the Colorado Springs City Council and has won two terms on the El Paso Board of County Commissioners. He faces term limits as a commissioner after next year’s election.
Hill, an Air Force Academy graduate and small business owner, was reelected in November to a second four-year term representing El Paso County’s Senate District 10. He was a candidate for several months in the 2014 Republican U.S. Senate primary eventually won by Republican Cory Gardner, who went on to unseat Democratic incumbent Mark Udall. Hill first ran for office in 2010, when he lost in a different state senate district by just 340 votes to Democrat John Morse, then the incumbent Senate majority leader.
Glenn, who also works as an attorney in private practice, launched DLG Esquire Attorney at Law after the November election. The consulting firm, he said, is aimed at helping political, business and community leaders with “implementing innovative solutions to growing community challenges.”
A spokesman said Lamborn is traveling in the Pacific with the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee until Monday and couldn’t be reached for comment. While he’s been raising funds for a 2018 campaign, Lamborn hasn’t formally declared whether he’s seeking a seventh term in next year’s election.