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Rep. Ken Buck to leave Congress next week, narrowing GOP’s slim majority

DENVER (AP) — Republican Rep. Ken Buck said Tuesday that he’ll resign next week, narrowing his party’s razor-thin House majority and scrambling the already heated GOP primary to fill his Colorado seat.

Buck, a staunch conservative who already declined to run for reelection as he became increasingly critical of his party’s handling of former President Donald Trump, made his surprise announcement in the midst of the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents.

During an appearance on CNN, Buck lamented that he hadn’t been able to ask a question in the hearing yet even though he’s the third-ranking Republican on the committee.

“A lot of this is personal. That’s the problem,” Buck said. “Instead of having decorum — instead of acting in a professional manner — this place has really devolved into this bickering and nonsense,” he said, adding that this was the worst of his nine years in Congress.

Buck’s March 22 departure will trigger a special election to serve the remainder of his term. Several Republicans are already running to replace him in November, including Rep. Lauren Boebert, who moved across the state to run for Buck’s more Republican-friendly seat anchored in Colorado’s eastern plains.

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis will schedule the special election, though it’s unclear if it would happen in time for someone to fill the seat before the June 25 Republican primary.

Buck said that even though he’s resigning, he wants to stay involved politics.

“I just feel there is important work to be done concerning the election and how we choose candidates,” Buck told reporters in Congress. “So I want to get involved in this election cycle and make sure we choose the best candidate we can.”

Nicholas Riccardi, The Associated Press

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