Ken Buck ponders an AG bid

The GOP law­maker is wait­ing to see if Cyn­thia Coff­man joins the race for guv.

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Mark K. Matthews

WASHINGTON» Po­lit­i­cal domi­noes are fall­ing across Colorado, and the lat­est could have Repub­li­can U.S. Rep. Ken Buck run for state at­tor­ney gen­eral in 2018 if Cyn­thia Coff­man, the cur­rent of­fice­holder, de­cides to join the crowded race for gover­nor.

Two Repub­li­can op­er­a­tives said that Buck, a two-term law­maker from Wind­sor, has be­gun to talk about the pos­si­bil­ity, and he con­firmed his in­ter­est in a brief phone in­ter­view.

“If she de­cides that she’s not go­ing to seek (the) at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice, I would cer­tainly keep my op­tions open,” Buck said.

The sce­nario is far from re­mote. Coff­man told The Den­ver Post ear­lier this week that she’s look­ing se­ri­ously at a gu­ber­na­to­rial bid and how she could win a Repub­li­can pri­mary and a gen­eral elec­tion.

“I’m a data- and re­search-driven per­son, so I have folks who are look­ing at those things for me,” Coff­man said.

For Buck, a run for at­tor­ney gen­eral would be well within his po­lit­i­cal wheel­house.

Be­fore he punched his ticket to Congress in 2014 — tak­ing the place of now-U.S. Sen. Cory Gard­ner in Colorado’s 4th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict — Buck served as Weld County dis­trict at­tor­ney.

Buck said his ten­ure there helped cut the county’s crime rate, though it wasn’t with­out con­tro­versy. Buck raided a tax ser­vice in Gree­ley be­cause he sus­pected the theft of So­cial Se­cu­rity num­bers — a move later ruled un­con­sti­tu­tional by the Colorado Supreme Court.

Be­fore his time in Weld County, Buck served as a prose­cu­tor with the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice and a staffer to Dick Cheney, the Wy­oming con­gress­man and fu­ture vice pres­i­dent, dur­ing the Iran-Con­tra in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

His po­lit­i­cal ca­reer also in­cludes a failed 2010 bid to un­seat Demo­cratic U.S. Sen. Michael Ben­net.

Buck was widely crit­i­cized in the home­stretch of that cam­paign — in what was oth­er­wise a wave year for Repub­li­cans — for com­par­ing ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity to al­co­holism in an ap­pear­ance with Ben­net on “Meet the Press.”

Since com­ing to Capi­tol Hill, Buck has been a fre­quent critic of the way it runs.

That in­cludes pub­lish­ing a book this year called “Drain the Swamp,” in which Buck blasts Congress’ crony­ism and fundrais­ing cul­ture.

He said Fri­day there’s an ap­peal to re­turn­ing to work in Colorado and that he’s not the only one to

rec­og­nize it — cit­ing the de­ci­sions of Demo­cratic U.S. Reps. Jared Po­lis and Ed Perl­mut­ter to run for gover­nor (though Perl­mut­ter later would drop out).

“There’s a rea­son why Jared and Ed walked away from this job and are more in­ter­ested in liv­ing in Colorado,” Buck said.

The race for at­tor­ney gen­eral has at­tracted a num­ber of con­tenders, in­clud­ing Democrats such as state Rep. Joe Salazar; Phil Weiser, a for­mer Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial; Den­ver at­tor­ney Brad Levin; and prose­cu­tor Michael Dougherty.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.