6:00am

Tue August 13, 2013
Politics

Buck’s Back For A Second Senate Bid

Another Republican has joined the field of candidates seeking to challenge Democratic Senator Mark Udall in 2014.

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck narrowly lost a senate bid three years ago to Democrat Michael Bennet.

KUNC’s Brian Larson spoke with Colorado Statesman Publisher Jody Hope Strogoff about what Buck’s candidacy means for the other two Republicans in the race and for the incumbent.

Buck joins state Senators Randy Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulphur Springs) and Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) -- who declared their intentions to run in early July. Neither are that well known compared to Buck, who’s been down this road before.

Interview Highlights…

How does Buck’s entrance into this race change things for the GOP?

“It brings an established candidate into the race. He comes in with more experience with having campaigned and a lot of people think he’s a good candidate to back, but not for sure if he’ll avoid a primary in this race.”

Why have Republicans been quiet so far about Buck’s plans on running?

“First of all, I don’t think you’ll see the state Republican party really responding until there’s a nominee. Buck says he’s filed his paperwork but won’t be officially announcing until September when he’ll be making a statewide tour. But he’s a vetted candidate – that’s also something that could work against him. He made several gaffes in his campaign and there are a lot of people who aren’t forgetting it and who want to make that sure people are reminded. There are a litany, actually, of mistakes he made and comments such as he thought being gay is a choice and is like alcoholism. It’s something that got him into a little bit of hot water. And he’s had some other statements that he’s made that he had to withdraw or explain away.”

Buck won’t officially declare his candidacy until September. Who else might join the race between now and then?

“A lot of Republicans quietly will tell you that Udall looks fairly safe. So I’m not sure that there’s going to be a whole lot of new Republicans getting into the race to challenge him at this point. But don’t forget that we’ve got another U.S. Senate race down the road when Michael Bennet faces reelection. And I think there are a lot of people lining up, like I said, quietly as a possible candidate in that race.”

Jody Hope Strogoff is the publisher of the Colorado Statesman.

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