Republican US Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado won't seek reelection, citing party's 'insidious narratives'

DENVER (AP) — U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, a conservative Republican who represents much of Colorado's rural eastern plains, announced Wednesday he would not seek a sixth term in Congress, citing many in his party who refuse to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election and to condemn the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

In a video message posted online, Buck said voters' hopes that Republicans will take decisive action may be in vain, and that his party's “insidious narratives breed widespread cynicism and erode Americans' confidence in the rule of law.”

“Too many Republican leaders are lying to America, claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, describing Jan. 6 as an unguided tour of the Capitol and asserting that the ensuing prosecutions are a weaponization of our justice system,” Buck said.

The 64-year-old former prosecutor, who has served in Congress since 2015, was one of the eight Republicans who joined with Democrats to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in early October. Buck eventually threw his support behind Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana for speaker, despite Johnson's own efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election through a legal challenge.

Buck has a penchant for being a wildcard as a fiscal conservative, but he also has proven himself to be someone willing to push back against party leaders.

He spoke out against McCarthy’s launch of an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, saying that House Republicans were relying on flimsy evidence. He also has pointed to concerns about the process for approving spending and complained about stopgap spending bills.

Buck’s decision not to seek reelection came the same day U.S. Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, the Republican chairwoman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, said she would not seek reelection in 2024 after nearly three decades in Congress.

Granger, who at 80 is the nation’s longest-serving GOP congresswoman, said, “It’s time for the next generation to step up and take the mantle and be a strong and fierce representative for the people.