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Colorado Republican Representative Ken Buck is set to resign from office, becoming the third party member to depart before the conclusion of the 118th Congress, as confirmed by his office on Tuesday. Buck, aged 65, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve Colorado’s 4th District for nearly five terms but announced his departure effective March 22, citing a desire to dedicate more time to his family and community without specifying his future endeavors.

In response to inquiries regarding the influence of former President Donald Trump’s potential nomination on his decision, Buck conveyed concerns about the broken candidate selection process, indicating a desire to engage in reform efforts. He described the current congressional term as the most challenging in his nine-year tenure, echoing sentiments shared by former colleagues, attributing the difficulties to systemic issues within the political landscape.

Rumors of Buck’s potential transition to a role as an on-air commentator at CNN surfaced in September, suggesting a possible explanation for his early departure from Congress. His exit adds to a string of resignations within the Republican Party, including former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Representative Bill Johnson, further reshaping the congressional landscape ahead of the upcoming elections.

Buck’s resignation leaves House Republicans with a narrow majority and three vacancies to be filled through special elections. Conversely, House Democrats face fewer vacancies, with only one following the resignation of Representative Brian Higgins. Colorado Governor Jared Polis will determine the date for a special election to select Buck’s successor, likely choosing from a pool of nominees selected by the Colorado Republican Party’s vacancy committee.

The retirement of Buck, announced in November, came amidst a turbulent period within the Republican Party, marked by internal disagreements and leadership changes. Buck’s stance on contentious issues, such as the integrity of the 2020 election and the events of January 6th, underscored his commitment to truthfulness and accountability in public discourse, earning both praise and criticism from fellow party members.

The upcoming special election in Colorado’s 4th District is poised to be a closely watched contest, with candidates vying for the coveted congressional seat. Among the contenders are Representative Lauren Boebert, state representatives Richard Holtorf and Mike Lynch, radio host Deborah Flora, and former state senator Jerry Sonnenberg, each seeking to secure an advantage as the incumbent ahead of the November elections.