Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said Wednesday that he would not seek reelection next year, expressing disappointment that many fellow Republicans continue to push the “big lie” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
“I have decided that it is time for me to do some other things,” Buck said in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “I always have been disappointed with our inability in Congress to deal with major issues, and I’m also disappointed that the Republican Party continues to rely on this lie that the 2020 election was stolen.”
Buck’s announcement came hours after Rep. Kay Granger (R-Tex.) also said she would not seek reelection next year.
Like Buck, Granger was one of the roughly two dozen Republicans who opposed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for the speakership last month — and who drew criticism from hard-right parts of the Republican base for doing so. The holdouts ultimately forced Jordan to withdraw from the race, and both Buck and Granger later backed House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) for the leadership position.
On Wednesday, Buck hinted that other Republican lawmakers could soon announce “in the near future” that they would also be leaving Congress.
Buck has clashed with the majority of the Republican conference in recent months, notably for opposing his party’s launch of an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. In a September op-ed for The Washington Post, Buck criticized the inquiry as one that relied “on an imagined history.”
“[I]mpeachment is a serious matter and should have a foundation of rock-solid facts,” Buck wrote then.
Buck was also one of eight Republican lawmakers who voted with Democrats to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the speakership last month. During the Republicans’ struggle to elect a new speaker, Buck steadfastly opposed Jordan over his election denialism.
Last month, Buck told NBC News that he had received death threats and a notice of eviction from his office in Colorado because his landlord was upset over Buck’s vote against Jordan for speaker. Buck said then that he did not blame Jordan but pundits and groups putting out “misinformation and hateful information.”
“If we’re going to solve difficult problems, we’ve got to deal with some very unpleasant truths, or lies, and make sure we project to the public what the truth is,” Buck told Mitchell on Wednesday.
Buck expressed some optimism that Republicans would unite behind “very important issues,” including funding for Israel and Ukraine, as well as a stopgap funding bill to avoid a government shutdown on Nov. 17.
“I think there are a lot of major issues that we will unite behind,” Buck said.