Republicans in Colorado's 4th Congressional District cannot afford to mess around. We hope they emerge from the April 11 congressional assembly with a proven leader on the ballot: Ken Buck.
The tough-on-crime Weld County district attorney had been in the U.S. Senate race and graciously stepped aside to allow U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, who represents the 4th, to run alone for nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, a Boulder Democrat. With Gardner out of the House race, Buck stepped in.
Gardner, widely viewed by both major parties as a rising star in Congress, implores voters to choose Buck as his replacement. The congressman reminded voters Thursday that Buck's dedication to community is trusted and proved. In a letter to 4th District residents, Gardner explained the need for good leaders in the context of Washington's growing lack of common sense.
"In the many years I have known Ken, his dedication to helping others as a District Attorney, coach and community member, have shown me that he will help fill this void," Gardner wrote. "Ken will work hard to put Colorado and America back on track. I look forward to working with Ken to return fiscal responsibility, free-market economic ideas and commonsense Colorado values to Washington."
The Gazette's editorial board has met with Buck and vetted him on several occasions over the years. We have found only a genuine free-market conservative dedicated mostly to improving the economic welfare of fellow Coloradans. He is solid on all conservative issues, standing for gun rights, property rights and the need for a minimally regulated environment in which businesses can flourish and create more jobs.
Buck finds himself in a primary race with State Rep. Scott Renfroe, a candidate so bizarre his nomination would only embarrass the party and reduce the 4th District's stature in Washington. Renfroe is notorious for extreme and unprovoked rants against homosexuals. On the day after the anniversary of the National Guard shootings at Kent State, Renfroe advocated using the Guard to confiscate medical marijuana cards. He opposes recess for school children because physical activity could lead to "the feminization of our boys."
The 4th District is limited Republican real estate, and Coloradans cannot afford a marginal and ineffective replacement for someone so effective as Gardner.
Buck, a graduate of Princeton and the University of Wyoming, has a distinguished record of public service that began with assisting former congressman and Vice President Dick Cheney with the Iran-Contra investigation. He has worked as a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice and as chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for Colorado, working directly with former U.S. Attorney John Suthers, the attorney general for Colorado.
Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund endorsed Buck because he reduced the Weld County crime rate by 50 percent, while protecting the rights of citizens to defend themselves.
"We look for strong leadership qualities and willingness to stand up to the powerful elite in Washington D.C. Ken Buck is that type of person," the gun-rights organization wrote.
When Gardner stepped into the Senate race, he did more than give Republicans a shot at unseating a powerful Democrat. He gave 4th District voters an opportunity to elect Ken Buck, a proven and uncompromising conservative leader.