BY FREDA MIKLIN
Ten-year incumbent Colorado U.S. Rep. Ken Buck was being interviewed by NBC News anchor and commentator Andrea Mitchell on November 1 when he officially announced he would not seek re-election to the House of Representatives after completing his current term.
Buck vowed to maintain his “role talking truth to the public” and to use his voice “to talk to people about how we (the GOP) move forward” despite leaving the Congress.
He said, “Civility in politics now is less than it was before,” predicting that 2024 would be “a critical election at the presidential level and in the House,” and that candidates for the House would have to make a decision about where they want the party to go, explaining, “We can’t keep worrying about the last election. We’ve got to focus on where we are going to take America in terms of policy.”
In a hypothetical 2024 rematch of former President Trump and current President Biden, Buck was unwilling to say whom he would support.Later, in a recorded announcement, Buck, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said, “Our nation is on a collision course with reality. A steadfast commitment to truth, even uncomfortable truth, is the only way forward. Too many Republican leaders are lying to America, claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, describing Jan. 6 as an unguided tour of the Capitol and asserting that the ensuing prosecutions are a weaponization of our justice system. These insidious narratives breed widespread cynicism and erode Americans’ confidence in the rule of law.”
Within a few hours of Buck’s announcement, 9News political reporter Marshall Zelinger called several prominent Republicans to ask if they planned to run for Buck’s job.
Zelinger confirmed that former 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler, former State Senator and current Logan County Commissioner Jerry Sonnenberg, radio talk show host Deborah Flora, State Rep. Richard Holtorf, Douglas County Commissioners Lora Thomas and Abe Laydon, and former State Rep. Patrick Neville indicated they were considering running for Buck’s position.
Two days later, Flora made it official, announcing her candidacy for CD4, saying she was running because, “Politicians continue to ignore the common-sense solutions that our nation urgently needs. Instead of working for us, they are working for themselves, pushing the overreach of big government and attempting to take control of every aspect of our lives. Bureaucrats are trying to block us from having a say in our children’s education and mandate what we do with our privately owned land.”
Before taking that step, Flora spoke at length about her world views in a meeting of the Arapahoe County Republican Breakfast Club that we attended. We will report more on what she shared there next week.
Congressional District Four includes Douglas County, Weld County, Elbert County, and Lincoln County, as well as the entire eastern border of the state. The cities of Parker, Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, and Loveland are also in CD4.
As of this writing, no Democrats have officially announced an interest in running for CD4, in which, according to the Colorado Secretary of State, voter registration is 36% Republican, 17% Democratic, and 46% unaffiliated as of November 1, 2023. First elected in 2014, Buck won re-election four times with at least 60% of the vote.
Buck served as Weld County District Attorney for ten years before running for Congress in 2014 and was also chair of the Colorado Republican Party from 2019 to 2021. He holds a B.A. from Princeton University, where he was on the football team for four years. Congressman Buck earned a J.D. from the University of Wyoming in 1985.