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Colorado Congressman Ken Buck won't seek re-election but says we haven't heard the last of him

Colorado Republican Ken Buck won't run for Congress again
Colorado Republican Ken Buck won't run for Congress again 03:09

Rep. Ken Buck, a Republican who represents Colorado's 4th Congressional District, says he is leaving Congress because his party isn't focused on the business of solving big issues.

Rep. Ken Buck attends a House Judiciary Committee hearing on May 18, 2022. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Buck says Republican leaders can't confront the problems facing the country because they are so "fixated on vengeance for contrived injustices" -- chiefly among them, that the election was stolen.

Buck, who has represented the 4th Congressional District since 2015, says he made the decision to step down a couple weeks ago but has been thinking about it for a while. He has clashed with far-right Republicans repeatedly over the last few weeks.

He opposed impeaching President Joe Biden and supported ousting Kevin McCarthy as speaker. But the final straw was his vote against Rep. Jim Jordan as McCarthy's replacement. Buck cited Jordan's role in trying to overturn the 2020 election. He says that's when the death threats started followed by an eviction notice at his office in Windsor.

A fiscal hawk and member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, Buck was attacked for not being conservative enough.
He says he went to Congress to make a difference, not make-up stories about stolen elections.

"The inability of Congress to deal with major issues is a huge part of why I'm leaving. The Republican Party's obsession with re-litigating the last election and not focusing on the next election was part of it," Buck said.

And he sees no end in sight as long as Donald Trump is leading the party.

"In Colorado we have largely moved to a one party system and we can see what happens when there is little balance in government. I fear that happening in the federal government."

He says Republican leaders in Washington are focused on personality over principles.

"We're so concerned with who has more Instagram followers. It's crazy."

He says he won't endorse a successor.

"That's going to be up to the people in the 4th Congressional and there are a lot of really good candidates."

While he hasn't decided what he will do when he leaves congress next November, Buck says we haven't heard the last of him.

"I'm just looking forward to spending more time with the family and I'll stay involved in the battle but in a different capacity."

Republican Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, who has clashed with the far right, too, in recent weeks, also announced that she would not run for re-election. Buck expects more Republicans to step down as well in the coming months.

His district is solidly Republican so it is unlikely to flip parties, but Buck's replacement may be a far-right Republican not a Reagan-era Republican like him.

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