STABBED IN COLORADO: Ken Buck Knives Boebert on the Way Out | Steve Berman

When Republican Rep. Ken Buck announced that he’s leaving Congress at the end of his term, that left a hole in the Colorado delegation. Buck represents the 4th Congressional District in a very divided state, dominated by Democrats in the big cities, but also a strong cowboy–liberty–population in the rural parts. Rep. Lauren Boebert represents Colorado’s 3rd CD; with Buck’s departure, she decided to run for the 4th, leaving the 3rd CD open for a new Republican. This would preserve and buttress the slim Republican majority in Congress.

But Boebert didn’t see the knives coming, as Ken Buck announced his near-immediate resignation from the House of Representatives, effective March 22.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Colorado’s 4th District in Congress for the past 9 years. I want to thank them for their support and encouragement throughout the years. Today, I am announcing that I will depart Congress at the end of next week. I look forward to staying involved in our political process, as well as spending more time in Colorado and with my family,” he said.

That’s a problem for Boebert, who was expected to win Buck’s primary to be held on June 25. Now there’s also a special election to fill Buck’s soon-to-be-empty seat. State law requires thie election to be held between 85 to 100 days after the seat is vacated. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, set the date for the special election to be the same as the primary: June 25.

Here’s the problem: in order to run in the special election, Boebert would have to resign her seat in the House representing the 3rd Congressional District. She can run for the GOP nomination for the 3rd CD in the primary, but she can’t be on the ballot for the seat as incumbent if she stays in Congress.

An additional problem is that the special election is open to all parties, so Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated (independent) voters can cast their ballots. The primary is for Republicans only. So in a conservative district like the 4th CD, whoever is running in the special election as a Republican is likely to win the nomination, even though Boebert is now polling way ahead.

In order for Boebert to win, people would have to split their vote, one Republican for the seat, and one for the nomination. Most voters would not do that, in all likelihood.

The Denver Post reports a few candidates have made their decisions to run, and a few are mulling it over.

So far, Logan County Commissioner Jerry Sonnenberg, a former state lawmaker, and former state Sen. Ted Harvey are the only Republicans to confirm they will seek the seat in the special election. State Reps. Richard Holtorf and Mike Lynch said they were still considering their best path forward, with Lynch writing in a text message Wednesday that he was hesitant to create a vacancy in the state House of Representatives.

Boebert was understandably angry with Buck’s backstab.

“The establishment concocted a swampy backroom deal to try to rig an election I’m winning by 25 points,” Boebert said in a statement, citing a late February poll by Kaplan Strategies in which she led the primary field with 32% support among 558 likely voters.

“Forcing an unnecessary Special Election on the same day as the Primary Election will confuse voters, result in a lame duck Congressman on Day One, and leave the 4th District with no representation for more than three months. The 4th District deserves better.”

Buck and Boebert don’t get along: Buck was one of the few Republicans who refused to vote to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and gave that as one reason he is leaving Congress. The division in the GOP, and the nation in general, makes if difficult to be a lawmaker in Washington, D.C. these days.

Boebert was trying to be clever in her move, but she may have sabotaged herself out of both her 3rd CD seat and her 4th CD aspirations. Obviously, that was Buck’s point: to remove Boebert from Congress. He may get his wish. The worst knives are the ones that stab on the way out of the room.

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevengberman.

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