Colorado’s Ken Buck to step down from Congress next week

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, who represents Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, will resign his position effective March 22, the five-term Republican announced on Tuesday. “It has been an honor to serve the people of Colorado’s 4th District in Congress for the past 9 years. I want to thank them for their support and encouragement throughout the years,” Buck said in a statement. “Today, I am announcing that I will depart Congress at the end of next week. I look forward to staying involved in our political process, as well as spending more time in Colorado and with my family.”

Buck announced in November that he wouldn’t seek a sixth term representing the heavily Republican seat, which covers Douglas County and the Eastern Plains. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday set a special election to fill the remainder of Buck’s term for June 25, the same day voters will pick nominees in the Republican and Democratic primaries. “I wish him all the best in this next chapter,” Polis said in a statement thanking Buck for his years of public service. The Democrat added that he planned to set the special election to align with Colorado’s June 25 primary to “ensure that Colorado has the representation we deserve in Congress, and to minimize taxpayer cost.”

Under Colorado law, the governor is required to schedule a special election to fill a House vacancy between 85 and 100 days after the seat is declared vacant, so long as November’s general election isn’t within 90 days of the special election, which created a window between June 15 and 30.

Buck’s surprise announcement scrambles the crowded race to represent the 4th CD.  Among the 10 Republicans running in the primary are U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, who announced late last year that she was moving across the state into Buck’s district rather than seek another term in the more competitive 3rd Congressional District she’s represented since 2021. Other GOP candidates include former state Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg and Ted Harvey, state Reps. Mike Lynch and Richard Holtorf and nonprofit founder Deborah Flora. Five Democrats and a handful of third-party and unaffiliated candidates are also running for the seat, which ranks as the state’s most solid Republican congressional district.

According to Colorado GOP Chairman Dave Williams, the 4th CD’s central committee — made up of county party officers and elected officials — will nominate the Republican candidate in the special election. “We wish Ken Buck good health and prosperity for the next chapter in his life, and look forward to filling this vacancy quickly so House Republicans can continue having the numbers to deliver for Americans in Congress,” Williams told Colorado Politics in a text message.

Buck’s departure will leave the House GOP with a slim 218-213 majority, leaving the chamber’s Republicans with just two votes to spare to pass legislation. In an interview on CNN shortly after announcing his resignation, Buck said he plans to join an organization to work on changing how the country elects officials “up and down the ballot.” “Not just president and Senate, House, but local offices — we’ve got to find better ways to elect candidates and bring America together,” Buck said.

The same as when he announced he wouldn’t seek reelection, Buck on Tuesday lamented the political climate in Washington. “I think this place is dysfunctional,” Buck said, adding, “Instead of operating in a professional matter, this place has just evolved into this bickering and nonsense and not really doing the job for the American people.” “It is the worst year of thence years and three months that I’ve been in Congress, and having talked to former members, it’s the worst year in 40, 50 years to be in Congress,” Buck said. “But I’m leaving because I think there’s a job to do out there that I want to go do.”

Buck said he doesn’t plan to get involved in the elections to pick his successor. “Whoever fills that seat both for the next Congress as well as the remainder of this Congress will do a great job,” he told reporters, according to the Associated Press.  Buck said last year that he decided to retire over frustration with his fellow Republicans embracing “self-serving lies” — including that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election — while pursuing social media status, instead of tackling the big challenges facing the country. “It is impossible for the Republican Party to confront our problems and offer a course correction for the future while being obsessively fixated on retribution and vengeance for contrived injustices of the past,” said Buck

First elected to the U.S. House in 2014, Buck currently serves on the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees. Previously, he served as district attorney for Weld County, as chief of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, and as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice. Buck was the Republicans nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2010 and chaired the state GOP for one term, from 2019-2021.

Article by ColoradoPolitics

# # #

Filed Under: ElectionsFeaturedMedia ReleasePoliticsState


About the Author: