In a move that was not so surprising to observers in Washington and Colorado, Republican Rep. Ken Buck, R-Col., announced Wednesday afternoon that he would not seek reelection in 2024.
Five-termer Buck’s decision came after weeks of behavior and comments that many in his party found upsetting. He was one of the eight House Republicans to vote against keeping Kevin McCarthy as speaker and then refused to support either Majority Leader Steve Scalise, La., or House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, OH, for speaker. Both, he later explained, didn’t give him definitive answers when asked whether they felt the 2020 election of Joe Biden was fair and legitimate.
For Buck, election skepticism was a deal-breaker and, in an unmistakable reference to Donald Trump, the 4th District lawmaker said he was “disappointed” in the Republican Party and that “[t]oo many Republican leaders are lying to America.”
Since it was first created in 1972, Buck’s 4th District has been represented by a Republican except for two years (2008-10), and is expected to elect another Republican in 2024.
The name heard most often on Republican lips is that of former State House GOP Leader Patrick Neville. In contrast to Buck, Neville is a stalwart Trump supporter and has a long conservative record. He has sponsored such key legislation as permitting handguns on public school property and declaring that life begins at conception.
“Pat is a veteran of the Iraqi War, an America First veteran, and a constitutionalist conservative,” Jim Pfaff, onetime Republican operative in the Centennial State, told Newsmax.
Ironically, Buck as the GOP U.S. Senate nominee in 2010 was considered a right-of-center star with solid backing from national conservative outlets such as Club for Growth and the then-powerful Tea Party movement. In a bitter primary contest with former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, then-Weld County District Attorney, Buck emerged the winner with 52%, but lost a November squeaker to appointed Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett by 48.1% to 46.6%.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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