Colorado Springs isn’t the most fertile ground for a Democrat to launch a bid for Congress; the Springs-centered 5th Congressional District has voted overwhelmingly Republican since its creation in 1972. It is no more likely to go blue than Boulder-based CD-2 is likely to turn red.
The odds get even steeper if the Democrat mounting the challenge to six-term Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn happens to be an assistant professor of women’s and ethnic studies and self-described “social justice activist” who authored the provocatively titled, “Abolishing White Masculinity from Mark Twain to Hiphop: Crises in Whiteness.”
But if you think that’s an outright mismatch for red meat-eating, military-minded El Paso County, you’d be wrong — at least, by the lights of Stephany Rose Spaulding.
In Spaulding’s Facebook Live announcement today that she is seeking Lamborn’s seat in 2018, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs faculty member and pastor of her Baptist congregation says she is intent on dispelling the district’s monochromatic image.
“We are here to tell you we are more diverse, we are more inclusive, we are more embracing of everyone, and we want to make sure we are representative of everyone,” Spaulding told a group of well-wishers assembled for the webcast. Spaulding, an African-American, noted she would be the first person of color and first woman to represent the 5th CD.
Spaulding also is quoted in a press statement issued by her campaign earlier today:
“Coloradans aren’t getting what they deserve out of their current representation in DC … Special interests and partisan politics have been put ahead of hard-working Coloradans and their families, and people here deserve a representative in DC who’s working hard for them no matter what their political beliefs are.”
Her campaign website acknowledges she is a political neophyte but asserts that’s what the district needs most right now:
Stephany Rose is new to the political landscape of the Front Range, but the last election cycle exposed a need for people who will genuinely listen to their constituents. The electrifying International Women’s March drew huge numbers of people, and convinced her that Colorado’s Congressional District 5 deserves a new, fresh Representative who will be responsive to the unique needs and concerns of the people of the Front Range. She feels there is a need to change the narrative about the district to one that is more representative of who and what it has become.
While she is new to politics, Spaulding has made headlines before. Last fall, as we reported here, she landed on the “Professor Watch” list of conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA. Turning Point bills itself as a, “student movement for free markets and limited government”; “Professor Watch’s” mission is “…to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”
UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak dismissed the listing and stood by Spaulding, who she said, “has a proven track record in the classroom and as a scholar with numerous publications and book chapters to her credit.”
Upcoming campaign events, according to Spaulding’s press release, include:
A campaign kickoff rally is scheduled for Friday, July 7, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at The Antlers Hotel in downtown Colorado Springs. A candidate meet and greet will run from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm inside the general lobby area of the hotel, and a candidate introduction featuring local elected officials will run from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm on the hotel’s front lawn between the east entrance of the hotel and Cascade Ave.