Ken Buck Retiring Early, Further Shrinking GOP’s House Majority

On Tuesday, another Republican announced that he plans to retire early from the House, a decision that would further diminish a narrow GOP majority in the lower chamber.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who stated months ago that he would not seek re-election this year, did not provide a reason for moving up his exit date prior to the end of his two-year term in January of 2025 in a statement.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Colorado’s 4th District in Congress for the past 9 years. I want to thank them for their support and encouragement throughout the years,” he said.

Buck added, “Today, I am announcing that I will depart Congress at the end of next week. I look forward to staying involved in our political process, as well as spending more time in Colorado and with my family.”

However, Buck did offer more insight in comments to reporters, pointing to the corruption-focused impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden.

“We’ve taken impeachment and we’ve made it a social media issue as opposed to a constitutional concept — this place keeps going downhill and I don’t need to spend more time here,” he said, according to The Washington Post.

Anticipation for a special election in the coming months for someone to serve out the remainder of Buck’s term has already started to build, though no announcements have been made as of press time.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who represents Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, is among those vying for the seat in the 4th Congressional District for a full term starting next year.

Buck’s early departure would leave Republicans with 218 members and Democrats with 213 members, and it remains the case that GOP leadership can only lose two votes on party-line issues with full attendance.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said he was “surprised” by Buck’s announcement, per NBC News. “I’m looking forward to talking with him about that,” he added.

There are currently three vacancies in the 435-member chamber after a fourth got filled by Democrat Tom Suozzi following his victory in a special election last month after the expulsion of Rep. George Santos (R-NY).

After losing the speakership in October, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) opted to leave Congress at the end of last year. California settled on a March 19 primary and general election on May 21 if no candidate beats the 50% threshold for someone to serve out the remainder of the current term.

Vince Fong, a Republican endorsed by McCarthy, advanced to the November election upon getting the leading spot in a top-two primary contest to represent the district in the next term. As of early this week, it was not clear who else had moved forward.

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) left office in January to become president of Youngstown State University. Ohio is going with a special election primary for Johnson’s vacant seat on March 19 and a general election on June 11.

And one Democrat, Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), stepped down in February to become president and CEO of Shea’s Performing Arts Center. April 30 is the date chosen for the special election to snag the Buffalo-area seat for the remainder of the term.

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