Yesterday evening, outgoing chairman of the thoroughly demoralized Colorado Republican Party and Rep. Ken Buck of Weld County made it official: he will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2022.
I am humbled by the interest and support I have received to pursue a potential Senate bid, however I will not be running for U.S. Senate in Colorado.
I look forward to continuing to serve and represent the wonderful people of Colorado’s Fourth District in Congress.
— Ken Buck (@BuckForColorado) January 29, 2021
Buck doesn’t say explicitly in this announcement that he will even run again for re-election in 2022, which will allow longstanding speculation that Buck may be getting ready to fully retire from public office to continue–and with a bevy of potential Republican CD-4 candidates waiting to see what the new maps look like post-redistricting, expect that to remain a hot topic going forward.
As for the speculation that bubbled up in early January suggesting Buck might run against incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, with a rumored call from National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chair Sen. Rick Scott, there are plenty of good reasons we never bought in to that. Buck’s distastefully confrontational far-right, science-spurning politics play well in the rural district he represents, but there’s no way he could possibly win a statewide race in Colorado. Buck’s last attempt at the U.S. Senate in 2010 was a narrow defeat in an historic Republican wave, and since then Colorado has only elected Cory Gardner, a triangulating con man of a Republican to statewide federal office. Buck’s unapologetic “politically incorrect” conservatism is no better fit in today’s Colorado than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would be running in Alabama.
At the same time, Buck has managed to alienate a large segment of the Republican base in Colorado by not joining with various other state GOP chairpersons like Arizona’s Kelli Ward in morphing from Republican loyalists to Trump loyalists, which has in recent weeks emerged as a sharp dividing line between Trump loyalists and loyal Americans. Buck’s considerable efforts to debunk the conspiracy theories about Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems and Colorado’s tried and true mail ballot elections were both hypocritical and commendable, but for Buck in a party still dominated by Trump’s legacy one thing they are not is vocationally auspicious.
If Buck was seriously considering a Senate run at any point, it’s a good bet the numbers he saw gave him buyer’s remorse. A man like Ken Buck doesn’t wear high heels, not even to win a statewide race, so he’s marching his bullshit-covered cowboy boots to the exit faster than you can spell R-E-C-A-L-L.
Wait, we have more! It’s been a long time coming.