Outgoing Republican Creates Major Hurdle For Lauren Boebert’s Election Chances

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This Tuesday, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who’d already announced he was leaving Congress in what he previously described as a retirement at the end of his current term, said he’d instead be leaving his seat next week. He may have dealt a serious blow to the election chances of an infamous fellow Republican.

Buck represents Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, where Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who represents the state’s 3rd Congressional District, already joined the Republican primary ahead of what was set to be a normal contest in the general elections later this year. But with Buck leaving so quickly, the expectation now is a special election, even though the winner wouldn’t be serving for particularly long before it was time for an election again. (A similar situation semi-recently took place in Alaska following the death of longtime GOP Congressman Don Young.)

Colorado Republicans’ special election pick would probably head into the normally scheduled elections alongside the brief term up for grabs in a better position. But Boebert can’t hold two seats at once, so unless she resigns from her original role — creating a new vacancy! — she’s out of the running for that race, it seems. The slate of primary candidates that already took shape was crowded, and as she attempted a district switch, Boebert was struggling to break through, so leaving her current position to target Buck’s also could end in losing a role in the House entirely for the infamous Republican.

A local Republican Party committee will ultimately select the party’s nominee for the special election replacing Buck, something that could happen before the primary setting up the GOP pick for the election for a full term happening later this year. So it’s local politicos rather than voters who are the metaphorical jury in this situation.

Republicans, meanwhile, have a very small majority in the House, making the exit of any Republican — after they already lost a seat thanks to the George Santos mess — especially tedious for the legislative chamber’s GOP.