CongressElection 2018Hot Sheet

Republican Owen Hill lands Rand Paul endorsement in 5th Congressional District primary

Author: Ernest Luning - April 4, 2018 - Updated: April 4, 2018

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, left, endorses Owen Hill, a Colorado Springs Republican, in the 5th Congressional District GOP primary, in a video posted online by Hill’s campaign. (Via YouTube)

Calling him “one of the good Republicans,” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul this week endorsed congressional candidate Owen Hill, a Colorado Springs state senator and one of U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn’s primary challengers.

“He is a true constitutional conservative,” the libertarian-leaning Paul said in a 1-minute video released Wednesday by Hill’s campaign. “As you’ve seen the fights that we have in Washington, sometimes even the Republicans aren’t on the right side, so primaries is where we get to determine who are the good Republicans. Owen’s one of the good Republicans. I’m excited he’s running for federal office. We need him in Washington.”

Paul, who tweeted his disappointed reactions while reading the 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package passed by Congress late last month, took aim at Republican lawmakers, including Lamborn, who backed the legislation.

“There’s so many problems going on, and, as you saw recently in the spending battle, half the Republicans acted like Democrats,” Paul said in his video endorsement. “I know Owen Hill will not. I know he’s a constitutional conservative, and I hope Colorado will send him to Washington.”

“Rand, you’ve inspired new generations to join in the fight for freedom, and I sure look forward to joining you in Washington,” said Hill, who stood next to Paul in the video. “Thanks for staying strong.”

Noting that Paul happened to be the first U.S. senator he ever met, Hill told Colorado Politics he was excited to receive the endorsement “because of his thoughtfulness, his leadership, and most of all for his refusal to quit on the U.S. Constitution.” Hill added, “Whatever some may think of his specific policies, everyone in America knows Rand Paul is in Washington to fight for freedom, and isn’t just fighting for his paycheck like other career politicians.”

Hill, an Air Force Academy graduate serving his second term in the state Senate, won top-line designation in the 5th Congressional District primary by acclamation at the Republican assembly Saturday in Colorado Springs. Lamborn and another primary challenger, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, have both qualified for the June ballot by petition. Two other Republicans, retired Texas state judge Bill Rhea and former Green Mountain Falls Mayor Tyler Stevens, have submitted nominating petitions, which are under review by election officials.

Hill received an endorsement in 2014 from Paul’s father, Ron Paul, a former Texas congressman and presidential candidate, when Hill was running in the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate seat eventually won by Republican Cory Gardner.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.