Ken Buck Off: Colorado GOP Congressman Announces Return to Private Life

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The troubled Republican Colorado congressman, who staked his political career on defending former Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney and criticizing President Donald J. Trump, announced Nov. 1 his return to private life at the end of this term.

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“Insidious narratives breed widespread cynicism and erode American's confidence in the rule of law,” said Rep. Ken Buck, who began his association with the Cheney family when he served as a staff attorney for then-Rep. Dick Cheney (R.-Wyo.) during the Iran-Contra hearings.

“After careful consideration and much prayer, I have decided not to seek a sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives to the people of Colorado's 4th Congressional District,” he said.

Buck, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, may have sealed his fate during the contest to replace Speaker Kevin O. McCarthy (R.-Calif.). The congressman was one of the eight House Republicans voting to vacate the chair. Yet, when his conservative colleagues rallied behind Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio) for the gavel, Buck took to cable news shows to criticize Jordan and promote his opposition to the Judiciary Committee chairman. Jordan was the founding chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.


Colorado agricultural businessman Trent Leisy told RedState Buck’s opposition to Jordan was the moment he decided to challenge Buck in the Republican primary. 

Read my RedState interview, “Ken Buck Stops Here: Colorado Businessman Trent Leisy Challenges Liz Cheney's Ally,” with Trent Leisy here.

Leisy told me as he boarded a plane for meetings at Mar-a-Lago, he was thrilled with the news that his candidacy helped drive Buck out of office.

“The news today from RINO Ken Buck proves that lies have consequences,” he said. 

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“Lying about the rigged 2020 presidential election and not supporting President Trump has consequences,” he said. “I will win this race and ensure a victory for the people of my district. The buck stops with my campaign!”

Leisy said people close to Buck told him that the congressman was looking over the horizon for some time, and his real ambition was to be a cable news pundit.

“This is great news for the constituents in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District who have become increasingly disappointed with Rep. Ken Buck's performance as his constituents shifted from his home district to those who watch CNN and MSNBC,” the businessman said. 

“The constituents will now have an American First candidate who will work for them and the American people," he said.

Speaking Nov. 1 with the hostess of "Andrea Mitchell Reports," Buck said he and failed speaker candidate Minority Whip Tom Emmer (R.-Minn.) were both targeted because they voted not to debate the validity of Biden electors. 

"Well, Tom and I both voted to certify the electors," he said. "It was a decision that I think was the right decision under the Constitution."

Then, he contrasted his acceptance of the 2020 results with Speaker Mike Johnson (R.-La.), who wrote an amicus brief for the Texas lawsuit challenging how other states conducted the 2020 presidential election. 

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"Mike went to the Supreme Court with a challenge to the election. I think going to the courts is one thing, trying to move the mob from the mall up to the House, and interrupting a congressional proceeding--a whole different issue," he said. 

Buck, an Ossining, N.Y., native, was first elected to the House in 2014.

The congressman made waves inside the House Republican Conference when he dismissed questions about the handling of the 2020 presidential election, amplified negativity about the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Hill protests, and urged Republicans to move on to a post-Trump GOP.

“Our nation is on a collision course with reality and a steadfast commitment to truth,” Buck said. 

In the end, the congressman wanted no part of the current and recent battles facing conservatives. 

“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.”

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