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Boebert won’t seek Buck’s seat in special election but will run in primary for full term

Calls Buck's resignation and scheduling of primary a 'swampy backroom deal'

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., says she will not resign to run in the special election in the 4th District.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., says she will not resign to run in the special election in the 4th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Lauren Boebert said Wednesday she will continue to compete in the GOP primary for the 4th District Colorado seat being vacated by fellow Republican Rep. Ken Buck, but she will not resign her current seat in the 3rd District to run in a special election to fill the remainder of Buck’s term.

After Buck announced on Tuesday he will leave Congress next week, Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, scheduled a special election to fill Buck’s unexpired term for June 25, the same day as primaries for candidates to serve in the 119th Congress. He said the elections would be on the same day “to ensure that Colorado has the representation we deserve in Congress, and to minimize taxpayer cost.”

Under the procedures outlined by the governor’s office, the parties will select candidates for the special election. Boebert, apparently assuming she would not be her party’s choice while she remained an incumbent in a district on the other side of the state, criticized the process in an appearance on the online platform Rumble.

Boebert accused what she called the “uniparty” of having “concocted a swampy backroom deal to try to rig an election, an election that I am winning by 25 points, forcing an unnecessary special election, when? The same day as the primary election in Colorado, and this will confuse voters and it will result in a lame duck congressman on day one.”

Boebert’s decision means the June 25 ballot will have one election for the unexpired term in which she is not a candidate and another primary for the full term starting in 2025 in which she will be a candidate. Numerous candidates had already been running for Buck’s seat — he announced in November he was not going to seek another term — when Boebert said in December she would run there instead of the 3rd District, where she narrowly won in 2022.

“I’m not going anywhere. I am not going to put my constituents and the 3rd District in a bind leaving them also without representation by resigning,” Boebert said in an appearance on Rumble. “The uniparty, they can have their special election. Congratulations, put in your Ukraine first candidate, I don’t really care. It’s going to be a placeholder for six months, but at least there will be someone to help us keep our majority.”

Buck’s resignation, which takes effect March 22, aligns with the deadline to pass the remainder of fiscal 2024 appropriation bills and fits within the 15-day window that allows Polis to schedule the special election the same day as that previously scheduled primary.

Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Boebert in a crowded primary field, including those with experience in the state legislature who may be vying for the party’s backing to become a member of Congress, at least for a short time.

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