U.S. Rep.-elect Steve Scalise (R-LA) (R) talks to Rep.-elect Ken Buck (R-CO) in the House Chambers on the second day of elections for speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 4, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The House of Representatives is meeting to vote for the next speaker. Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) failed to earn more than 218 votes on three separate Tuesday ballots, the first time in 100 years that the Speaker was not elected on the first ballot. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a Windsor Republican, will not seek a sixth term in Congress next year, he announced on Wednesday, citing his party’s ongoing internal struggles and focus on mischaracterizing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“Americans are rightfully concerned about our nation’s future and are looking to Republicans in Washington for a course correction. But their hope for Republicans to take decisive action may be in vain. Our nation is on a collision course with reality and a steadfast commitment to truth,” he said in a video statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. He also made the announcement in an interview on MSNBC.
He said that “too many” Republican leaders are lying that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and that the prosecutions of those involved in the Jan. 6 attack are political farces.
“These insidious narratives breed widespread cynicism and erode Americans’ confidence in the rule of law. It is impossible for the Republican Party to confront our problems and offer a course correction for the future while being obsessively fixated on retribution and vengeance for contrived injustices of the past,” he said.
Buck was one of a group of Republicans to join with Democrats to vote out House Speaker Kevin McCarthy last month, and then refused to back Rep. Jim Jordan in the drawn-out process to select a new speaker.
He said he considers himself a conservative aligned with former President Ronald Reagan and adheres to individual liberty and economic freedom.
“I made the decision to leave Congress because tough votes are being replaced by social media status. It’s time to stop feeding popular narratives and start addressing the long term solutions,” he said.
Buck was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2014 to represent Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, which spans the eastern plains into Castle Rock. It is a strong Republican district, and there will likely be a competitive primary to determine who replaces Buck. State Rep. Richard Holtorff has indicated he might run for the seat. Weld County council member Trent Leisy and political newcomer Justin Schreiber have filed paperwork to run in the race.
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