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Congressman Joel Hefley, Representing Colorado's 5th Congressional Districtright side of mountain image
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Joel Hefley was first elected to represent Colorado’s Eastern Front Range in the House of Representatives in 1986. Now in his 10th term, he represents Chaffee, El Paso, Fremont, Lake, Park and Teller counties with a conservative point of view that reflects his diverse and growing district.

Hefley is known throughout his district and in Congress as a fair and effective lawmaker, who remains loyal to his Western roots while supporting legislation that benefits the national interest. He is in his 18th year as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. His focus as a legislator is to strengthen the military, protect federal lands and reduce taxes.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hefley is a strong advocate for a robust national defense and is a staunch supporter of missile defense. His district is home to the U.S. Northern Command, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base and Fort Carson.

He is the chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, and is responsible for the readiness and preparedness of military personnel, military construction and housing, and the operation and maintenance of all military bases. His subcommittee oversees the availability and condition of equipment, civilian personnel, maintenance depots, and readiness of U.S. forces to operate in a chemically- or biologically-contaminated environment.

As chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Installations and Facilities from 1995-2001, Hefley focused his efforts on increasing expenditures on military housing and personnel programs. He succeeded in improving the quality of life for the American soldier by expanding healthcare services, increasing pay and renovating military housing facilities.

Hefley is equally committed to the preservation and conservation of our nation’s public lands and natural resources. He focuses his efforts on establishing a fair process for designating and managing federal lands and ensuring that the nation’s parks and resources are maintained in a pristine condition.

An Oklahoma native, Hefley moved to Colorado working as a cowboy and ranch hand. He settled in Colorado Springs and established himself as a civic leader by serving as the executive director of the Community Planning and Research Council. He served in the Colorado State House of Representatives from 1977 to 1979 and the State Senate from 1979 to 1986.

Hefley returns to his Western roots by “cowboyin’” on his ranch where he raises Quarter Horses and sculpts bronze statutes of Western scenes and ranch life. He also draws political cartoons that depict the ups and downs of congressional life.

Hefley has a Bachelors of Arts degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and a Masters of Science degree from Oklahoma State University. He was also a Gates Fellow at Harvard University. He and his wife, Lynn, have three daughters and five grandchildren.