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How Buck’s early retirement is a problem for Boebert 

Rep. Ken Buck’s (R-Colo.) announcement that he’s leaving Congress later this month is complicating Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Colo.) path toward winning his seat.  

Buck announced in November he would not be seeking reelection in Colorado’s 4th congressional district, which captures the eastern portion of the state.  

But he sped up his retirement on Tuesday when he announced he would be leaving Congress toward the end of next week, prompting a special election to fill out the remainder of his term. Gov. Jared Polis (D) is on track to schedule the special election for June 25, the same day as the state’s primary. 

That’s complicated Boebert’s electoral prospects as she’s vying for Buck’s seat.

Boebert currently represents the state’s 3rd congressional district, located on the opposite end of the state from Buck’s district. That district includes the Western Slope and much of southern Colorado.  

Late last year, however, Boebert announced she was running for Buck’s seat after she barely won reelection against Democrat Adam Frisch in her district. Frisch is running for the 3rd district again, which would have created another expensive and competitive House race for Boebert.  

Both parties will nominate candidates for the June 25 special election for the 4th district being vacated by Buck. Who ever wins that contest to fill out the remaining months of Buck’s term could have an easier path to winning the election in November to serve a full two-year term representing the fourth district in Congress.

That’s left Boebert in a bit of pickle and with a tough decision to make.

She could resign from her House seat early and seek the GOP nomination in the special election for Buck’s seat, hoping it would better position her for winning the two-year term in November.

The problem with doing that is it would further eat into the House GOP’s narrow majority. Republicans can only afford to lose two votes from their side of the aisle to prevail if Democrats are unified. Buck’s exit does not change that calculus, but it does give the party even less leeway for unexpected sicknesses and absences.

A Boebert resignation would also trigger a special election for her seat, which could flip for Democrats.  

On the other hand, Boebert could stay in her House seat and take the gamble of solely running for the election to term out the full two-year term in the 4th congressional district being vacated by Buck.

Buck’s seat went for Trump by more than 18 points, making whichever Republican wins in June the heavy favorite to represent the seat starting in January.  

Boebert has not signaled her intensions so far, but in a nod to the high states, she announced Wednesday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that she would be holding a live digital fundraiser on Rumble.  

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