Thursday, October 12, 2017

Congressional District 5 race draws fourth Republican hopeful

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 12:35 PM

click to enlarge Rhea: Fourth Republican to enter primary race in CD5. - COURTESY OF BILL RHEA
  • Courtesy of Bill Rhea
  • Rhea: Fourth Republican to enter primary race in CD5.
The race for the Republican nomination in Congressional District 5 just got bigger, with the entrance of Bill Rhea, retired judge and missionary, into the fray.

In a news release, Rhea calls himself "a distinctly centrist Republican" in a field of right-leaning candidates vying for an office held by ultra conservative Doug Lamborn.

"Frankly, I think I have a really good appeal to the independent voters," Rhea tells the Indy in an interview, "and my sense is the other [candidates], I would put them in the category of traditional Republicans. My plan and the reason I think I have a serious chance is I can appeal to independent voters as well as Republicans. The others can divide up the very conservative Republican branch."

Rhea said he was referring to candidates State Sen. Owen Hill, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn and incumbent Doug Lamborn in those remarks. While Colorado Springs City Councilor Tom Strand has said he'll run, he hasn't yet filed for office.

Rhea says he won't be as well funded as Lamborn, but he is retired and at 70 has lots of life experience to bring to the office and energy to seek it. "I'm going full throttle," he says.

Rhea is a lifelong Republican, he says, and sought judicial office in partisan races in Texas, but he admits he became a registered Democrat for a brief time in 2016 "because I was Trumpized," meaning he didn't approve of President Donald Trump.

Here's Rhea's news release:
Colorado Springs resident Bill Rhea today announced his candidacy for Colorado’s 5th Congressional District* in 2018. A retired judge and former missionary in Cambodia, Rhea will focus on a needed renewal of the core values of the Republican Party, bringing his singular and responsive focus to relevant issues.

Judge Rhea is a distinctly centrist Republican, as opposed to each of the other candidates for the House seat currently occupied by incumbent Doug Lamborn.

“I am grateful for this amazing opportunity to demonstrate my commitments to the people of the 5th District of Colorado,” said Bill Rhea. “The current leadership has become complacent, and for many years we have witnessed a failure to demonstrate necessary levels of independent thoughtfulness or of commitment to a respectful, bipartisan discourse. My knowledge of the legal and judicial systems, my full and varied life experiences and my core values will help me bring new avenues of change in Washington, D.C. If elected, my focus will be to demonstrate bold leadership, with an open mind, as we address the many complex issues facing our community and our nation.”

Judge Rhea’s career has included 17 years as a civil litigation lawyer (including four years as a mediator), 15 years as a State District Judge in Texas with oversight responsibility of the juvenile justice system in Dallas County, which operates on a $30 million annual budget. Rhea also served on the Rules Advisory Committee to the Texas Supreme Court and was appointed as a special judge for high-profile cases outside his jurisdiction. He also managed large-scale asbestos and toxic-tort litigation for the entire North Texas Region.

Bill and his wife, Akemi, have raised a family of 15 children (six biological and nine adopted). They have dealt with many challenges, but through faith and much grace, continue to live out the values they so cherish.

Following six years of missionary service in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the Rheas relocated to Colorado in August of 2015.

Judge Rhea is developing a private section of his website where he will invite a wide range of individuals from various parts of the community to personally engage with him on issues they care about. Additionally, he will be active in social media sites as an important part of the campaign.

Rhea for Congress
More information about Bill Rhea, his background and positions on various issues, can be found at either" target="_blank"> Bill Rhea may be reached at or 719-209-2003.

*The 5th Congressional District encompasses Colorado Springs and the surrounding cities, towns and rural communities of Park, Chaffee, El Paso, Freemont and Teller counties.

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