A former Navy chaplain who made headlines for being court martialed for praying in Jesus’ name has been elected to the Colorado State House of Representatives.
Former Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, nicknamed “Chaps,” won the seat Tuesday in Colorado House District 15 with more than 70 percent of the vote.
His work will begin in January.
“The Republicans increased their majority in both houses by one seat each. However, there is a Democratic governor. So the challenge will be to send good bills to the governor, even if he threatens to veto them,” Klingenschmitt told WND.
He said his large margin of victory was because of the type of campaign he ran.
“I ran a positive, grassroots, door-to-door campaign. Volunteers went door-to-door, and I had 20 coffee events where I met the people face-to-face. The voters had a chance to meet me in person and find out that I’m a real person who is interested in their issues.
“At the same time, I declined several media interviews. I didn’t want to conduct the campaign through the media. There were some good honest reporters, but most of the campaign was on the personal level,” Klingenschmitt said.
Overall he says the election was about the principles of liberty.
“My supporters were all people who believe in the Constitution, liberty, freedom and small government. That’s what the major national election was about. The people spoke and said they’re for smaller government and more liberty,” Klingenschmitt said.
He believes his election in Colorado was a reflection of the national mood.
“If you look at who won nationwide, the election was a statement against the attacks on religious liberty. It was a stand against the courts on abortion, on gay marriage,” he said.
“Colorado is the state where the bakers are who were forced to bake the cake for the two men from Massachusetts.
He noted Colorado is the state where baker Jack Phillips, owner of Lakewood’s Masterpiece Cake Shop, was ordered by a judge, in violation of his Christian faith, to bake a cake for a homosexual duo and undergo sensitivity training and submit quarterly reports on his bakery activity.
“The church voters in this state and across the nation have spoken,” Klingenschmitt said.
He was inspired to run during the 2013 recall elections over the Colorado gun control laws. The gun-control agenda in a Democrat-controlled statehouse prompted voters to remove two members of the state Senate from office. A third resigned hurriedly before she could be recalled.
“The gun control issue was a what inspired me to run even though it wasn’t the only issue that motivated Colorado voters in this election. There were new issues this year,” he said.
“The electorate was broad. In Colorado Springs, the education issue is important. The voters expressed their desire for less government, lower taxes, more jobs and the economy. The fact that I’ve started two successful businesses and have an MBA was a factor in the voters having confidence in me,” Klingenschmitt said.
He said he’s aware that there was considerable opposition to him and his campaign.
“I know there’s a lot of hostility to me in the mainstream media and in the gay and atheist media. However, I’m grateful in a way for their discussions on me and my issues. It’s an opportunity for me to preach the Word, even through their media,” Klingenschmitt said.
The former chaplain has hosted a 30-minute daily television program on the NRB Network, DirecTV channel 378, called PIJN News. He says he will continue to do the show.
“The show has been extremely effective. I know that the program has led to changes in some laws in 12 states,” Klingenschmitt said.
WND has reported on Klingenschmitt and his dispute with the military since it began years ago.
It was in 2006 when WND reported Klingenschmitt was dismissed from the Navy when he insisted his religious-freedom rights allowed him to pray “in Jesus name,” which conflicted with Navy policy requiring chaplains not to reference Jesus in their prayers.
Congress later told the Navy to rescind the policy, and Klingenschmitt, then a lieutenant in the service, hailed it as a victory for religious liberty.
However, the Navy ultimately succeeded in removing him from its ranks.
Klingenschmitt, who graduated from the Air Force Academy, holds a Ph.D. in theology.