Ken Buck Keeps On Squashing Republican Dreams

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley).

As the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports:

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck will seek reelection to his congressional seat next year, the Windsor Republican said Wednesday, dispelling any speculation that he was planning to give up the seat.

“I have been running for this position and I will continue to,” Buck, who is in his third term, told The Colorado Sun.

The confirmation comes as several high-profile members of the Republican Party were considering campaigns for Buck’s 4th Congressional District seat if he decided not to run for another term. The potential contenders included 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler, who fell short in his 2018 bid to become Colorado attorney general, state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg of Sterling and state House GOP leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock.

Speculation about Rep. Ken Buck’s next move exploded over the summer, as national conservative “news” sources like Newsmax confirmed rumors we had been hearing that Buck was moving toward retirement from his ultra-safe CD-4 congressional seat–and prospective successors jockeying for pre-position like repeat GOP loser George Brauchler and embattled House Minority Leader Patrick Neville.

Rep. Buck’s “moonlighting” as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, a job he narrowly won last spring and then immediately raised eyebrows by appointing former party chair Steve House as “CEO” to run day-to-day while Buck continues to serve in Washington–a job House has now ditched to run for CD-6–is creating significant discord among the party’s involved membership and (more importantly) donor base. A petition campaign of state party central committee members is underway to oust Buck from his party position, and confirmation that Buck intends to continue splitting his attention between these two demanding jobs may only increase calls for him to pick one.

Since Buck took over the state party promising to teach Democrats “how to spell R-E-C-A-L-L,” all Republicans in Colorado have managed is a series of failed recall attempts that have devastated the morale of the rank-and-file. Buck’s failure to prevent the vice chair of the party Kristi Burton Brown from “personally” filing the ill-fated recall attempt against Rep. Tom Sullivan indelibly linked the official state party apparatus to the recalls.

With all of this in mind, if Buck decides that he wants another term as CD-4’s representative in Congress, there’s little we can see standing in his way as of this writing. As for the mess Buck has made of the Colorado Republican Party trying to do two jobs?

Somebody’s going to have to clean it up.

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  1. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    I hope Pat Neville primaries his ass anyways. What has he got to lose?

  2. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    Brauchler or Sonnenberg would be less embarrassing than Buckhead.  Neville probably even worse.

  3. DENependent says:

    Buck is only guaranteed an ultra-safe Republican district until 2022.

    The average congressional district for Colorado in 2022 will need to have about 730,000 residents. The current CO-4 will have about 838,000+. The redistricting commission could give Buck a gift by giving him more or less the same district minus either parts of Douglass or Weld to make the math work, but they might also redraw the map more substantially. He could find himself in a merely Republican leaning district where he could face an actual fight in beyond the primary.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Much the same way CD 6 has evolved…

    • The realistThe realist says:

      Maximizing the number of politically competitive districts will be one of the criteria under Colorado's new law for the commission, while maintaining communities of interest and preserving county and municipal boundaries. Will be interesting.

      • DENependent says:

        I agree that it will be interesting to see what the commission is able to come up with. My guess is that it will not be nearly as competitive as Democrats might hope, but a great deal more competitive than Buck will want. Fairly CD-6 like.

        I've noted in the past that Larimer and Weld county will have very close to one congressional district's population. But there may very well be a more subtle solution with more granular data about the population and partisanship of different towns.

        • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

          Nice that you can talk about competitive districts…it really is. I think living over here in Mesa County (well, close enough, nowadays, I can throw a rock into it from up on the hill) where we use tax-payer money to teach kids to shoot, where a whole brain and half a heart is a disqualifier for elected office…where the Republican party owns a college with its own private motel.

          The glaciers are melting faster than the political landscape here is changing.

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