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GOP Announces Replacement For Retired Congressman

( – In mid-March, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) announced he was leaving Congress earlier than planned. His decision threw a wrench in the plans to replace him in November. The GOP has now thrown its weight behind a candidate for the special election.

On March 28, a Colorado Republican committee nominated former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez to serve the rest of Buck’s term. It took six rounds of ballots to choose Lopez. The committee consisted of 100 Republicans. In the final round, the former mayor beat former state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg in a 51-46 vote.

Lopez will run in the special election in the Republican stronghold in June. On the same day, the party will hold a primary to choose a candidate to run for the seat in the general election.

Lopez, a two-time congressional candidate, pitched himself as a placeholder candidate. He pointed out that he’s not running in the primary, so he won’t impact the November race.

Political commentators pointed out the news of the GOP’s support for Lopez was good for Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). She moved across the state to run for Buck’s seat in November after nearly losing her last reelection campaign. When Buck decided to leave Congress early, it created a problem for Boebert because she would have had to resign from her current congressional seat to run in the special election for the next district, if she wanted the best shot at winning in the fall.

Boebert decided early on that she wouldn’t run in the special election and urged Republicans to choose a candidate for it who would not run in the primary. Colorado Politics reported that the congresswoman claimed that if one of her competitors in the primary race ran in the special election, it would “taint the entire process and give [the] candidate an unfair leg up.”

After winning, Lopez said he now has to ensure they “maintain a conservative voice for [the 4th] district.”

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